Thursday, 21.01.2010: oasis and news from Bolivia

21 Jan
As I had put the tent in the shadow of the reservoir of water, the sun did not wake me up as usual at 8:00 so I could sleep one more hour. The sun did as well not warm the tent and the ground. For the first time it was “cold” but still 18C… How will I feel cold when it is below zero??

Polo, the “water tank holder”, was talking much and it was quite hard to leave him… I understand his needs for conversation, but it started to get penetrant. If I would have place on the bike, I would took Perry, Polos female guard dog, back home: she would very well fit Pasco, the dog of Franziskas mother.

The first kilometers of road were continuing to go up with 1-3% until what is looking like the top of a coline. In fact, the altimeter shows climbing all the time, with some flat parts in between. It is may be a fata morgana as you don’t really have the feeling of going up. More over, the road seems to go down.

At one moment you start to see in direction of Bolivia which white messages: big clouds appears where the high mountains (over 5000m) should be…and some hundreds meters later the green Oasis Calama and ist Chuquicamata in the back.

Calama appears about 25km from an elevation. Don’t ask me why, but even I could drive “quite fast” on the near flat road, it did not want to come closer.

Arriving from Antofagasta, the first you see is the company preparing the explosifs for the surrounding mines: ammonium nitrate that is then mixed to fuel to a viscose and high explosive and very easy to handle gel. And just after passing the site, you smell as well the sulfure and nitrate in the air.

I finally found a place to rest at the hostal “Toño” which has quite good price relation. As i did not have lunch I went out after the shower and bought some food at the chinese, which I ate in my room. I was so drained, that I slept two hours. And at eight, I went back in town for dinner… 😉

Gud n8

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