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  #1  
Old 5 Nov 2002
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San Pedro de Atacama to Salta

So my tires are almost done - can anybody tell me how good or bad this road is? I hear it is paved from Salta to SAC. Beyond?

and which pass should I go through?? and do I need spare gas???

I am (naively perhaps) assumming I can get new tires in Salta. Iquique has none for me.

cheers
Lance
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  #2  
Old 8 Nov 2002
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It's OK - sandy and loose dirt in places but otherwise OK . I did it 6 months ago on a road bike . Long tiring and very beautiful journey - the Argentines let me sleep in the border post .

Make sure you have enough gas - I took the more southern route - forget the name at the mo .

Chris
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  #3  
Old 8 Nov 2002
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Forgot to add it is not paved all the way . Salta to San Antonio ( or whatever the name of the last Argentine town is ) is partly paved and the Chilean side is unpaved approx 25kms south of San Pedro .

Get the Turistel North book - has very good and up to date maps at the back .
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  #4  
Old 9 Nov 2002
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you are right.
I also ended up doing the southerly route the Sico pass. It was very long and, as I left from Calama, I ran out of time and ended up in my tent at 4200 meters and -9 degrees celcius. lovely. I should have stopped at the Argentinian frontier or at the little town I passed....

The road from SAC to Salta varies as you said between firmish sand, perfect ashphalt, a great dirt road and an ordinary ashphalt road. Before SAC the road was bearable on the Argentinian side but rutted with corragations on the Chile side. Sand too.

The Argentinain Sica Pass border people said they see just 1 or 2 vehicles a day. (and there were 10 of them living there!)

It was about 230 miles between gas stations. (San Pedro - SAC)

The road is spectacular. Just make sure that you take plenty of water, food and gasoline and be prepared to camp out in very cold conditions if things go wrong.

The Gama pass in the North (from San Pedro turn left up the hill) is the road that almost all transport takes. A much better road by all accounts....

Lance
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  #5  
Old 7 Feb 2003
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What size tyre did you need in Iquique?
We are heading up that way and will need a 17" rear tyre for a Super Tenere.
Do you think there will be any?
Regards, Patrick and Belinda Peck
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Old 7 Feb 2003
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17 130/80 and 19 100/90 - no luck with either. ok so I could have got a nasty looking 100% road chinese tyre but even the seller didn't reccommend it.

I woul (and did) head across to Argentina if you can - easy to get tires in Salta, Tucuman, Mendoza etc and a great ride across one of the numerous passes as well.....

Iquique is a duty free port, and there are 2 or 3 people that handle bikes. What they can do for you I have no idea - but do tell if you manage to sell as I wouldn't mind doing the same....
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Old 19 Feb 2003
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As it happens, I am in Iquique, and the couple I am with tried to buy new tires here, for a BMW R80 GS and a Suzuki 650, and had no luck. They are now looking for a second day, but we're pretty sure they'll have to limp along to Antofagasta (450 km south), where the Chileans we've talked to said there probably will be some. They had particular difficulty with the rear tires - no 130/80s here at all and nothing in the size of the rear for the Suzuki (don't know the measurements but it is a 17 inch wheel.)
They said that there were some front tires, but they are total road tires.
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  #8  
Old 19 Feb 2003
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in iquique:
swing by sergio cortez. you can find his iquique address in the footprint handbook. he has a swiss wife, speaks english/german, rides a gs, is a great bloke and might be able to point you in the right direction for tyres. if you do, give him my regards. he helped me a lot with my shock.

you can get tyres in iquique. i got a new front and a hardly used back, but went to a back street mechanic, who disappeared and returned an hour later... i didn't ask where they came from. they were cheap! sergio will know how to find the backstreet guy.

my bike had 90-90-21 and 130-80-17

in san pedro de atacama,
swing by the tyre wallah nearest the chile borderpost. the chap might still have a couple of used tyres (possibly better than what you have... the front still had a fair few km in it, the back was a washed out knobblie, but still, better than walking!). i left them with him when i put new rubber on when heading north through bolivia in mid 2001. i asked him to give them away or sell them very cheaply.

good luck,
ChrisB
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  #9  
Old 22 Feb 2003
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We are in Iquique now trying to sell our Super Tenere.
If anyone else is around it would be good to catch up. We will be here for about a week-
We are staying at Hostal Beach
Vivar 1707 PH: 429653
Catch ya soon,
Patrick and Belinda Peck
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