Tuesday, January 15, 2013
0 to 16k in half a day.
It's hard to believe that the Atacama desert can be this cold! We went from sea level to 16k and it is 38 degrees! The day was filled with extremes. We even saw flamingos in a lake at 15k! The idea was to cross the desert in one day so as to avoid spending the night in harsh conditions, didn't take many pics again due to the mileage, sorry. We didn't anticipate crossing the border into Argentina, but ~100 miles from the border we hadn't found a place to stop and we ran into the exit point for Chile at San Pedro de Atacama! Strange that it is this far from the actual border, but I guess things aren't always what you think they will be. We got behind a tour bus load of people in line and got everything squared away. The entry into Argentina was hours down the road so we hit the gas. We got there in the late afternoon and got things taken care of on their end. It took hours out of the day but we still managed 356 miles! The stretch of road after the Argentine border was the last extreme of the day. It was raining quite hard and then it turned to snow, soon we were riding down a snow covered highway, trying to find a place to sleep. The precip eventually stopped and we hit the hay for the night. I can't wait for some good Argentinian steak! Eating canned foods on the road sure saves time and money but 1 hot meal a day before bed is really making me crave some grilled goodness!