January 23, 2002 GMT
Chile - the desert hand and condor sighting

Hand_in_the_desert.jpg
Dale in Northern Chile by the "Hand in the Desert"

We stopped at the giant hand in the desert, a huge concrete hand, raising straight up about 200 yards off the road. We were taking some pictures and eating a donut, when Frank said, "Well, here comes one of our compadres...on a KLR." It was Mariola Cichon. She was heading for Ushuaia also, then up through Brazil, Uruguay, then over to New Zealand, India, and maybe Africa...

---------------------------------------------

1/20/02 Officially - we’ve been 1 calendar month on the road - 10 countries achieved, 2 to go. We are in Arica, Chile, and it is wonderful weather...shorts and short sleeves. Got up @ 6:00 a.m. and the streets were being swept by hand everywhere, never saw a cleaner town.

Frank and I really enjoyed the ‘walking’ streets (no motor traffic), outdoor vending everywhere, some of the café’s tables and chairs extended into the street, nice feeling,...very modern with Internet cafés in abundance...we got our clothes washed...feels great!

Met Stephen and Victor on bicycles, stopped to talk a little. Stephen was from Mexico, near Puebla, and Victor was from Germany. They had left Ushuaia over 2 months ago. We gave them big fresh plums that they devoured.

Bicyclists_Stephen_and_Victor.jpg
Bicyclists headed north towards Prudhoe Bay

As we entered another province of Chile, we were stopped and the 4 plums we had left were to be confiscated, or we could consume them...we consumed them. It’s the first time I can ever remember being forced to eat lunch. Frank said, as we were leaving ‘I wonder if they will want to know where we defecate so they can check for contamination We went about 200 miles out of Arica to the coastal city of Iquique;...beautiful, was like Highway 1 on the California coast. Stopped at a seaside restaurant, had wonderful pascada and café con leche.

About 20 miles south of the city we kept entering what the signs said were ‘Zona de Neblina’ (fog). Traveling on this road was dreamy...massive sand piles, thousands of feet tall.

I’m dreaming about Kath giving me a haircut (with electric shaver) and I’m putting my arms around her. I’m dreaming of having breakfast on our deck, ..it’s summertime. Hmmmm.

I think back about the ‘sideswipe’ incident. And then I start to think about perching on that cliff that rainy dark night...how terrified I was getting, observing the car headlights far below me. The beams would sweep across below me, as vehicles wound along the mountain road below me (gives me the heebie jeebies again!).

Lots of tent campers along the seashore, most of them bunched up...would be groups of 6 or up to 20 tents huddling together...for security, I suppose.

We stopped at the giant hand in the desert, a huge concrete hand, raising straight up about 200 yards off the road. We were taking some pictures and eating a donut, when Frank said, ‘Well, here comes one of our compadres...on a KLR.’ It was Mariola Cichon. She was heading for Ushuaia also, then up through Brazil, Uruguay, then over to New Zealand, India, and maybe Africa.

With Mariola, we traveled about 350 miles today, the last 72k was rock and dirt...rough.

Frank_and_Mariola.jpg
Frank Tabor & Mariola Cichon

Mariola took us to a resort beach area, Pan El Azucar (sugar loaf)...this was gorgeous. We had pascada, rice, salada (tomatoes and onions), and latte.

1/23/02 It’s getting light...about 3:45 Omaha time. Good sleeping...by the sea, with the waves gently hitting the beach. There are 3 of us in separate tents. We’re supposed to have breakfast with Mariola, but I doubt that will happen, because I don’t think the restaurant will be open.

Frank and I are ready to hit the road. My knee kept me awake for a while last night...I’m disappointed that it’s hurting still; it’s been a month and it’s swollen and feverish. I bought some more ‘Cipro’ in Arica, in case the swelling started moving down my leg again. I think we’re about 500 miles north of Santiago. Well, the restaurant was open, great daysayuno.

Note from Mariola:
“It is amazing how we, members of one big family, find each other in the strangest circumstances. I had a great time with you and Frank. Thanks for sharing stories and your time with me. I hope your journey will take you to many wonderful places, without any unpleasant surprises. Wish you the best of luck...and hope to see you on the road!’ Mariola Cichon www.rideoftheheart.com mariolacichon@hotmail.com”

Saw my first condor yesterday...he was soaring toward me and when he turned away from me, I saw his distinctive head...those expansive wings...magnifico!

About 12 or 15 miles N or La Sarena, yesterday, we were inland just a little, but riding a few thousand feet up, and ‘my gosh’ off to our right, on a mountain range between us and the sea...there were white, heavy-looking clouds pouring over the mountain like a waterfall, and coming down the mountainside toward us. What a sight and feeling. Right then, I realized I was getting cold...the temperature was dropping rapidly, about 25 degrees in just 6 to 8 minutes.

We had a nice dinner last night, carne and arroz (beef and rice) with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. Frank was in more pain than usual...asked if I minded if he rested longer, and to leave later tomorrow (Thursday).

And Thursday is our malaria pill day. We haven’t had the slightest threat by the so-called prevalent maladies and diseases or infections; just lucky, I guess. Traveling through the villages, we look for correos (post offices), none...and no carriers or delivery vehicles.

Well, we did it again...went on reserve, and worried for 30 miles, and out of the desert, a mirage, a gas station...no, it’s a trick...yes!! A gas pump! I’ll be damned!

I am so excited, and we’re here, about to enter Santiago. Like Frank says, we’re about to enter our 3rd and final phase. The ride today, and getting this far, is euphoria for me. I feel energetic and excited to continue to Ushuaia.

Posted by Dale Thornton at January 23, 2002 12:00 AM GMT
Comments
Sorry, due to heavy form spamming, Comments are OFF.
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!



Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!