Altiplano, Atacama and the Andes (December 2022)


After to disappointment felt by so many on the cancellation of the New Zealand ride due to COVID restrictions two years ago, Buff3y The Hardcore Adventure Cyclist now rides again! Yes, he is off to South America to get some serious high country bike touring done. The bicycle touring world is in a veritable tizz about this new development and the internet abuzz with wild speculation as to where Buff3y will go next. What equipment will he use? What awful slop will he eat whilst camping. All of these questions and more are careening around the planet at a much faster rate than Buff3y can muster on his touring bike. So now the team at buff3ysbicyclingblog can fill in some gaps and prepare all for the unbounded joy that is the unique experience of checking in with Buff3y as he travels on a bicycle.

Christmas day sees Buff3y happily ensconced in the departure lounge of Sydney airport soon to be boarding a Qantas flight bound for Santiago de Chile and a connecting domestic flight to the seaside town of Arica on the northern coast of Chile near the Peruvian border. From there he will unpack the bike; the Hilite titanium 18-speed Pinion geared bike from Switzerland – most recently used on the Rockies trip a couple of years ago; a magnificent touring machine – and head out onto the long road..

Buff3y will be heading directly inland, steadily climbing onto the ‘Altiplano‘ (high plain) of northern Chile around 4,000 – 4,500 metres. This country is part of the the most extensive high plateau outside Tibet stretching southwards from southern Peru, through Bolivia and to the Atacama Desert in Chile. It is the land of salt plains, geysers and volcanoes, remote dirt roads, flamingo-filled multi-colour lakes and a sparse beauty unavailable elsewhere on the planet. Climbing and climbing from day one of a trip could be – well – quite distressing – and quite painful – but too late to change plans now.

Once up in the high country, the road will turn southwards following the Bolivia-Chile border leading down into the ‘Atacama Desert ‘and the oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama (last visited by Buff3y ten years ago on his pan-America trip), a serious pizza, beer and latte town. If the passes are open eastwards across the Andes, Buff3y will then head up into the Los Flamencos National Park and onto northern Argentina and Salta, for lashings of Malbec, offal and chips. The land then flattens out across Paraguay and turns south east to Uruguay finishing up in Montevideo. Across South America in approx nine-ten weeks. Let’s See. Stay tuned for exciting updates from the track plus pictures of Buff3y and his bicycle.

10 thoughts on “Altiplano, Atacama and the Andes (December 2022)

  • Merry Christmas Buff, great to see you are back on the Bike ,have a wonderful and safe trip ,i will be following your blog .
    Im sure you will be looking forward to the seemlessly neverending “Hey Gringo” comments haha

  • Hello Bob, Is there no stopping Buff3y The Hardcore Adventure Cyclist? Apparently not. I’m amazed, impressed, envious and, at the same time, apprehensive for you. Have a wonderful trip – it sounds remarkable – but please stay very, very safe. You have been to some extraordinary places in your life, many of them quite sketchy and risky. So be careful . I’m sorry that despite my best intentions I didn’t make the short trip from Canberra to Blackheath to catch up with you. I’m really cranky with myself because I didn’t know you would be escaping again so soon and that is entirely down to me being so lackadaisical and not making the effort to keep in touch. My apologies. Have a fantastic time and enjoy yourself. I’ll look forward to each post with great anticipation. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope 2023 brings you everything you wish for. Regards and very, very best wishes. john

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