Llano Aguas Blancas - Tamarugal 02.08.02 102.71 km
I had to close the collar of my sleepingbag this night. At 6.30 a.m. it's 4 degr. inside the tent. I'm measuring outside just now. Water for coffee is been heated. There's nothing like a night in the dessert, ahh... only -3,2 degr. but another cup of coffee will do good anyway.
Now 7.25 a.m. the sun has arisen above the mountains and it get's warmer. For the first time a day without any other positive experiences than that I survived without getting into real trouble - after all. Yes, and 100 km of good training!
At first 7 km by a terrible road just beneth the 'quebrada'. Then south to a lovely little town to shop food. Terrible road. Considered going back, but made the choice from a positive view point: it could only get better. It did, but not until 1 km before Camar - excellent asphalt. Signpost to Camar: 'Pitoresque Pueblo'. 4 km of climbing ending in a gradient where I had to take a break just before the top. In spite of lowest gear. There was nothing beautiful, lovely, aestehtic about Camar. The chilean way of understanding picturesque seems to be: poor. Anything worth seeing? And the inhabitants? No shop! Two elderly women gazed at me as if I was mad, and with good reason. What the hell was I doing there? The men were occupied by a boule-like game at the sports area.
No supplys and going in the wrong direction. Down again. Back on the asphalt road. Going south to get to the road down the Salar. Couldn't see it. The asphalt was leading to Argentine. Then it should be 10 km. Freewheeling all the way. At last a crossroad? Doesn't exist according to the map. I continue, and the road continues as far as one can see out in the Salar. Not according to the map. Back again. It must be this one to the right? I follow it. Suddenly I spot a tank lorry going parallel somewhere far out in the Salar. So there must be a road there. Back again to follow the same road once more. In the end appears the T-road as it was expected to. Saved. All this time only one car passed me on the asphalt road. Now it's just going back to San Pedro, Save the liquids, they'll havee to do until Toconao. When I get there I buy mineral water and soup powder.
Tamarugal - San Pedro 03.08.02 30.60 km
I fell asleep and woke up at 10 p.m. to do the tooth brushing. I woke up once during the night and lay tossing andd turning. The surface felt real hard. But never the less I've now slept until 6.50 a.m. in one stretch. The morning's come. I feel refreshed, but stay in the sleeping bag for once. I don't have to rush. Look at my hands? They have turned into rough worker's hands. The dirt lies in the lines in my palms. Or dust I might say, that sounds nicer. It's not that I'm a pig. I used valuerable mineral water yesterday trying to clean them after having put up the tent. But it not like at home. I wonder how I smell? A shower today would do good, so I hope that the water is back.
Today I don't feel like stepping out of the tent before I've packed. My kitchen is in the front part of the tent. It's just zipping down, filling the kettle and turn the gas on. This cooker has a push-lighter, so you don't need matches. Excellent. After the breakfast of which there's not much, I turn to my contact lenses. First I clean my thumb, four-and middel finger, as well as I can. My small ½ l's bottle from the road race "Sjælsø Rundt" (danish one) is perfect to dose the amount of water. To pour from a bottle takes too much water, but this drinking top and a light squeeze on the bottle, give me just what I want. Now I've been using this disposable botlle for a month. My cup is used for collecting what's spilled. One drop of saltwater on the lens - and in it goes. I'm sitting with crossed legs, in my lap I have the handlebar bag and on that my small foldable mirror bought in a Tiger shop for 20 kr. This has been perfect too. A bit dust can't be avoided but then I just have to move the lens about a couple of times. It's time to get on. Back to Kathmandu. I know it's San Pedro, but in my head it easily turns to Kathmandu or some other town in the eastern Asia. The only thing missing is the smell of animals in the streets, and in Toconao (name of a road this time), where Residencial y Camping is, is something called 'Rancho', where you can rent horses. When I pass this the picture turns perfect. Anyway I don't care at times where in the Earth I am. I just AM.
The disapointment and exhaustion of yesterday is already long gone. Imagine rolling here looking up at those giants. Llacancabur, this knight, that as usual is guarding me in the mist. I've stopped thinking of the country as Chile. To me it's just the LAND. It's where I live, and when I arrive at Bolivia
THAT will be my land. The land is where people are and live. What's that nonsense about national states? There is just one land. Mine.
It's the nomad existence that is running in my veins. I AM a nomad, and I've started thinking like one.
I arrive as planned at Kathmandu, where they once more is playing "The Doors": Baby you can light my fire, and not to be kidding, I immidiately start talking to an englishman who worked in Nepal some years ago. He and his girlfriend have arrived from Bolivia. They've been on a 3 day tour, which I've
been thinking to do. They say that 'Laguna Verde' I can reach from here, and in Salar de Uyuni I can bike when I get there, and the rest was nothing to talk about. Some spots they couldn't reach because of snow, one was 'Árbol de Piedra'. Too much driving compared to the benefits. I'll think about
that during the afternoon.
I've been tempted by a sign saying: Pizza. Mostly because I don't feel like washing up. 'Napolitana', but I had to order olives extra. It's not big, but it tastes excellent. So I have to go back and eat the most of a can of pine apples. Unfortunately it feels like a change of wheather, but until now I stick
to my plan of going to or towards Calama in the morning. Could use some days there. I have to change the tyres. And maybe go to Chiu Chiu.