Monday, 19 November 2012

Day 135: Antofagasta to Copiapo, Chile

Hello folks and especially family and especially Shirley!
We had a good day today. We had a great road and put our heads down and got on with it. It didn't start all that well however. I met D&D at their hotel at 8am

and we headed south. I needed petrol but thought that we would find some on the way out of town. We didn't. In the end I left the others by the side of the road and went back to fill up. Bother!

When I got back D&D were chatting with this bloke from Timaru. We're not sure of his name but he went to Timaru Main Primary School so was probably taught at some stage by my Uncle Stewart. I pulled up behind his ute at the roadworks. You might need to stretch the photo to see the kewl sticker!

We had a long section of roadworks and of course at the end of them were three, count them three, petrol stations. Hmmmm.

Because I have lost my photographer the photos now are a bit sparse - here D&D at a rest stop in the desert. It's a barren but fascinating place. And cold! The temperature at one stage dropped to 12C. Mostly though we were riding at about 20C.

And at a petrol stop.

The desert was amazingly complex. At one point a series of seams that looked like coal through the hills. At at another this amazingly textured set of hills.

Kiwi checked out this green rock. Yep .... It's green alright.

More of these amazing memorials. This is a modest one.

We pulled into Copiapo at about 5pm, gassed up again and went looking for a bed. We found the Hotel La Casona but alas there was no room at the inn. Sounds biblical but no barn. Only one room and space for me to put up my tent in the back yard. A ring round was not successful - there apparently is miners' fair in town and the place is packed. It was go hunting or go camping! I was about to get my tent out when a cancellation was rung through and I had a room after all. Phew! The next town was 150kms down the road and I wouldn't have enjoyed that.

I unpacked and went for a walk. Quite a barren town with homes up into the hills.

I came back to do some banking and emailing and then went out for another walk. Past this huge arch ...

And found a memorial to the Atacama Heroes of 1810 (independence from Spain) which included a hero called Jose Andre Wilson. A rellie I'm sure. Of the Spanish variety.

It was on this plinth thingee.

On the way home, in a very modest rather run down house, this wonderful stained glass window.

And that's about it. Dinner is on at 8.30. It's just gone nine-o-clock. My blood sugars are declining. :-)

Today's run: 579kms (a record?)
Cumulative: 33,689kms
Tip overs: 7

Location:Copiapo, Chile

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