|The Chilean flag|
|Gracias por el chocolate y el agua amigos|
|Barren, spectacular wilderness|
|This crater like dig out made for the perfect shelter, out of sight of the road|
and more importantly better protected from the howling wind.
I may have entered a new country but for the first few days in Chile the landscape was unsurprisingly quite similar to that of Bolivia - stunning, extremely dry and almost completely unpopulated.
|The fake tan was probably unnecessary, what with all the sunblock,|
sweat, dust, salt and general dirt already clinging to me.
|Los Bomberos in Calama just back from a fire|
|The pretty central square in Antofagasta|
|The first signpost I saw for Santiago had the city 1440 km away so I was much closer|
by the time I took this photo.
|I stayed a night with the very welcoming Alvarez family in TalTal.|
They certainly made sure that I didn't leave hungry!
|This friendly truck driver Rodrigo gifted me his high viz vest so that I could be well seen on the road|
By this stage I had made it back onto fully paved roads with some of the stretches being on motorway so a nice shoulder for me to cycle in. Obviously with a trip this long covering tens of thousands of kilometres some parts are going to be more interesting than others.
Some of the days between Antofagasta and La Serena I felt a bit like I was eating, cycling, eating, sleeping, up and repeat. Going through the motions to purely get kilometres under my belt. Essentially this was all I was doing as I needed to be in La Serena by the 7th to meet the guys. Thankfully it rarely happens to me that I feel like I am going through the motions despite the length of time I've been on the road. I knew it would be well worth it anyway to see my friends and it's not as if they weren't making a huge effort to make it to Chile and to the town of La Serena.The landscape was baron with little or no vegetation. I had seen enough baron wilderness in northern Chile by this stage.
|The lovely Tonsic family very generously invited me to lunch|
On the 7th of March at 9pm in the dark of night I cycled into La Serena. I had made it in time to meet the lads, now all I had to do was find them.
|A fishing village that I passed not far from La Serena|