Friday, 01.01.2010: What a day! :-))

1 Jan
First may be a few words about yesterday evening: people came at the river where an amphitheater surrounds a basketball field. A one-man-show music man was singing apparently local songs while some where dancing. At midnight, champagne was opened and all where greetings their neighbour: ” Feliz año 2010″…on one hand I was happy, on the other sad not to be at home “with the girls”. The fireworks where started from the top of the edge. All manually, nothing electronic.

In the same time, people where lightning figures made of tires, gloves and other stuff to represent the end of the old day.

After some champagne, I started to feel tired so I walked and had to refuse the invitation of Jorge, an Argentinian who opens a very nice hotel (Atacama), for dancing. At the pension, I was invited by Maria and her husband for a cup of champagne and a pinapple cake.

Today morning I started after breakfast and with 1kg of grapes (gift from the house mama Maria) towards Copiapo, 140km north through the desert. What a nice ride, even with front wind!

Today I’ve passed kilometer 666…the number of the beast! Later, I saw my first desert Lama!

You might wonder but I’ve found out, that it is safer and easier to ride on the left side of the left road. As for walking, you see the potential risk of trucks and can therefore drive on the smoother road. Most of the time, the driver understand and take distance. The other reason to drive left is that the wind blast of the trucks is not so important as when they come from the back. May be because I’m prepared or because the wind come from the left. The wind direction is a third reason: the exhaust with all the particles is blown away and I don’t inhalated them. And there is nothing nicer as when a car slow down to your speed, lower the window and starts to talk!

The part of the desert I’ve seen today was really nice with a lot of colour and even a rest of the flowers, that was seen 1 month ago, were to be seen. I really recommand sun glasses with polar filter!

Temperature of 32°C and humidity of 31% in the shadow.

Just only point: the two restaurants in between where closed…from the first I could buy the last bottle of water with a factor 1.5 for the “desert price”.

Finally I had to stop after 110km and more than 6000kcal because I had big doubts to arrive before darkness.

The tent is up, pasta with spicy tomato sauce is cooked and eaten and I am ready for the night!

Cheers, Georges

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