Back into Argentina form Bolivia, to Santiago, Chile, and then the 360 is done.
Tupiza, Bolivia into Humahuaca, Argentina. A generally difficult border went very well, much quicker than anticipated.
The twisty mountain roads of Bolivia turn to flat and straight again in Argentina, but not for long. We soon hit the beautiful hills and perfectly paved twists of northern Argentina.
On to Salta, outstandingly amazing colored hills, greens, reds, magentas, frozen waterfalls, hitting the old Ruta 9, with its tiny twisty road through the forest, looks more like a bicycle path than an actual highway.
We have a group diner together that eventing then head out into the beautiful city of Salta to enjoy ourselves for a couple of days of rest.
Salta is a popular tourist stop for foreigners and Argentines alike, especially for its architecture and beautiful surrounding landscape.
Salta to Purmamarca, back up the bicycle path, the famous Ruta 9, good times once again. Ted mentioned that he liked it even more than the day before, getting a better handle of its tight twists.
Getting into Purmamarca, the temperature went from 5 C to 25 C within 15 km, a very welcome warmth that put a smile on everyones faces. It is a beautiful town with stunning hills all around.
Passo de Jama, the highest border crossing in the world, was closed. Our departure delayed by a day, we left early the next morning at 6am because the border was only open for a few hours a day and we have to time it perfectly. It hit -13.5 C that dark morning, very chilly riding, but the pass was amazing and beautiful once the sun came out.
San Pedro de Atacama. A great hippy town with lots of quaint restaurants and shops. The town also has a ton of dogs wandering here and there and everywhere.
On to Mejillones, a ride through the Chilean desert and along the coast.
To Bahia Iglesia, more amazing desert landscape and roads, a long day. It is a nice small beachside town with some great places to eat or have a drink.
On to La Serena, mostly highway 5 South through great desert and ocean scenery. Arriving at our hotel at the beach with the streets just newly flooded from high tide and huge waves. We stayed for two days because of the impending storm. A small earthquake hit the area the next morning, turns out to be 5.1 in magnitude, and it starts pouring rain. How exciting! Great to be in the hotel and not on the road though. The next day was dry and sunny once more.
La Serena to Valparaiso. This is the last riding day. All on highway 5, it was a nice warm sunny day after the rainstorm. We leave the bikes here to get crated up and shipped home.
A final transfer to Santiago, with a celebratory group dinner that also included the great folks at Triumph, Chile and we all make our separate ways.
You have just spent 4 ½ months on an adventure that very few think about doing, fewer start, and even less complete.
2017 South America 360 Adventure Tour comes to an end.
The Adventurers were:
THE SOLO RIDERS
THE MARRIED COUPLE
Until next time…keep the rubber on the road.