Halfway to Calama to all the way to Calama: Easy ride to a rich mining town

Statistics for today
Distance 69.50 kms 43.50 miles
Climbed 103 meters 338 feet
Ride time (hours) 3.62 -
Avg speed 19.1 kph -
Avg climb 2% -
Max grade 9% -
Statistics for trip to date
Distance 6,911.76 kms 4,294.92 miles
Climbed 67,708 meters 222,139 feet
Ride time (hours) 521.55 -
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Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

The morning started off with a 20 kilometer descent. Nice way to start the day. At some point early on a couple of BMW motorcycles with German plates slowed down next to me and one of them handed me a bottle of water. That's the second time that Germans have given me drinks in the desert, a couple of them stopped and gave me a cold can of coke when I was crossing the Mojave in California. Danke schön! It was a good thing too as I was running low on water. I had left San Pedro with 4.5 liters plus a 1.5 liter bottle of Coke but it wasn't really enough given yesterday's hot climb and a night of camping.

After the descent there were headwinds and it was flattish to downhill, all in all it was an easy ride today and I got into Calama quite early. I rode around to get the lay of the land then settled in at a campground that has a pretty good setup. In the site next to me is an Italian who is slowly making his way around the world on a BMW Dakaar. He's been having mechanical problems so we spent some time trading equipment issue war stories.

I went shopping at a massive supermarket which felt like pure heaven. I wanted to buy the whole store and take it home with me. They have everything! Even cheddar cheese and peanut butter! The difference between this supermarket and trying to scrape together the ingredients for a meal at an Argentine despensa is just incredible. Needless to say I went as crazy as I could given that I live on a bicycle, then went back to the campground and ate myself silly.

I'm taking it slow today, and probably tomorrow as well, while I see if I can find a rim and take care of some other business.

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About as desert as desert gets.
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Really back in civilization, an airplane!
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Que felicidad
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I bought this curry powder in Coyhaique (Southern Chile). 6,000 kilometers later I have accepted the fact I'm never going to use it and finally threw it away today.