Our first decision when we awoke in the south-eastern corner of the Atacama Desert was to determine if we could make it to San Pedro de Atacama with the little amount of fuel we had remaining in our tanks. I decided with “she’ll be right”, whereas Ciaran opted to pay an extortionate price for fuel from the lady who’s backyard we slept in.
With the enduro ride behind us, we bid our farewells from our new amigos in Tongoy and headed for Pisco Elqui. The practical off-road experience proved invaluable almost immediately. The pavement opened up into technically challenging dirt that a week previous would have surely seen me take a fall. The trail took us over a mountain range and through piles of sand as roadworks were constant.
Entering Tongoy we were greeted by the setting sun as it met the shimmering Pacific Ocean. It radiated deep oranges and reds over the crashing waves and the few surfers still braving the waters in late May. We began our tour of the quiet beach town in the proper fashion, by doing a mainy along its sandy, seaside promenade.
We last left you off as we were on our way to the west coast to the quiet little surf town of Pichilemu. The town was eerily empty, with almost everything closed, including restaurants, shops, hostels and campgrounds. The latter we found out first hand as we rode around to every campsite in town hoping to find one still open for the off season.
Our first week in South America has been challenging to say the least. Arriving in Santiago extremely jetlagged, albeit very refreshed following a sneaky last-minute upgrade to Business Class. Our first experience on the road was in a taxi with no seatbelts, hurtling along at a refreshing 100 km/h despite the 40 km/h limit.