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An abandoned town, desecrated graves and an evil eye

An abandoned town, desecrated graves and an evil eye

Sierra Gorda, Atacama Desert, December 27th 2022.There was something really weird -- a couple of things actually -- on the road between Calama and Antofagasta between Christmas and the New Year. I travelled it because, after San Pedro de Atacama, I had to backtrack to...

Alma and what the tourists don’t see (and neither do I) . . .

Alma and what the tourists don’t see (and neither do I) . . .

San Pedro de Atacama, December 26th. Having entered the Atacama Desert -- the driest place on Planet Earth -- by following the Pacific coastline, I now turned inland and headed for Calama and, ultimately, to San Pedro de Atacama. San Pedro is the center of tourism in...

The shabby chic magic of Valparaiso

The shabby chic magic of Valparaiso

Valparaiso, December 15 and 16th 2022.Valparaiso has always had something magical about it for me. Perhaps it is the poem by Oliver St John Gogarty, The Ship.A ship arrived from Valparaiso,Dropped its anchor in the bay,Her name reminded me of kingdoms,Sunlit countries...

The Andean rivers are running dry

The Andean rivers are running dry

December 12th 2022, Santiago.As I move ever further north up the country, some of the reasons for Chile's wealth become more evident.Riding along Ruta 5, the spinal transport road linking together the north, central and the northern part of southern Chile, it is very...

Che and the myth of those Motorcycle Diaries

Che and the myth of those Motorcycle Diaries

December 9th 2022, Lautaro.I am writing this dispatch from this small town in south central Chile and I am doing so for a very particular reason.Over the past number of years, when I have mentioned to people my wheeze about riding a motorbike from Tierra del Fuego to...

If you are into motorbikes, this is the place for you

If you are into motorbikes, this is the place for you

December 7th, Puerto Octay. Alexander (32) from Switzerland used to sit in an office where there were computers on every desk. Most of them had the sort of screen savers popular almost everywhere -- photos of beautiful, often dramatic landscapes that would appear...

Andres and Enrique: heroes of Bahia Murta

Andres and Enrique: heroes of Bahia Murta

November 28th 2022, Bahia Murta. The prospect of 200 or so kms to Coihaique didn't faze me a jot. And it was almost all going to be on an unpaved part of the Carretera Austral, Chile's southern-most highway before the South Patagonia Ice Field severs the country from...

Sometimes, you have to just stand in silence and gaze in awe

Sometimes, you have to just stand in silence and gaze in awe

November 26 2022 El Calafate, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. I got back to Punta Arenas from Puerto Williams at around midnight and, unlike at Puerto Williams, the ferry crew would not allow passengers without accommodation in the town sleep the night on the boat. I...

An unpaved road and jawdropping vistas

An unpaved road and jawdropping vistas

Filed from Puerto GuadalA day that began with such little promise ended in triumph. The road that was worried over, was in the event traveled and traveled well, thanks to the urging of an Australian geologist. The reward was great.I spend the night in a truck stop...

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