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5 gennaio 2016 2 05 /01 /gennaio /2016 18:36


- Calle 13 - Latinoamérica

Soy, soy lo que dejaron, Soy las sobras de lo que te robaron,
Un pueblo escondido en la cima, Mi piel es de cuero por eso aguata cualquier clima,
Soy una fábrica de humo, Mano de obra campesina para tu consumo,
En el medio del verano, El amor en los tiempos del cólera,
Mi hermano!

Soy el que nace y el día que muere, Con los mejores atardeceres,
Soy el desarrollo en carne viva, Un discurso sin saliva,
Las caras más bonitas que he conocido, Soy la fotografía de un desaparecido,
La sangre dentro de tus venas, Soy un pedazo de tierra que vale la pena,
Una canasta con frijoles.

Soy Maradona contra Inglaterra Anotándole dos goles.
Soy lo que sostiene mi bandera, La espina dorsal de mi planeta, en mi cordillera.
Soy lo que me enseño mi padre, El que no quiere a su patria no quiere a su madre.
Soy América Latina un pueblo sin piernas pero que camina.

Tú no puedes comprar al viento,
Tú no puedes comprar al sol
Tú no puedes comprar la lluvia,
Tú no puedes comprar al calor.
Tú no puedes comprar las nubes,
Tú no puedes comprar mi alegría,
Tú no puedes comprar mis dolores.

Tengo los lagos, tengo los ríos, Tengo mis dientes pa cuando me sonrío,
La nieve que maquilla mis montañas, Tengo el sol que me seca y la lluvia que me baña,
Un desierto embriagado con pellotes, Un trago de pulque para cantar con los coyotes,
Todo lo que necesito!

Tengo a mis pulmones respirando azul clarito,
La altura que sofoca, Soy las muelas de mi boca mascando coca,
El otoño con sus hojas desmayadas, Los versos escritos bajo las noches estrelladas,
Una viña repleta de uvas, Un cañaveral bajo el sol en cuba,
Soy el mar Caribe que vigila las casitas, Haciendo rituales de agua bendita,
El viento que peina mi cabello, Soy todos los santos que cuelgan de mi cuello,
El jugo de mi lucha no es artificial porque el abono de mi tierra es natural.
Vamos caminando, vamos dibujando el camino!

Trabajo bruto pero con orgullo, Aquí se comparte lo mío es tuyo,
Este pueblo no se ahoga con marullos, Y si se derrumba yo lo reconstruyo,
Tampoco pestañeo cuando te miro, Para que te recuerdes de mi apellido,
La operación cóndor invadiendo mi nido, Perdono pero nunca olvido, oye!

Vamos caminado, aquí se respira lucha.
Vamos caminando, yo canto porque se escucha.
Vamos caminando, aquí estamos de pie.
Que viva Latinoamérica.
No puedes comprar mi vida!

Condividi post
20 aprile 2013 6 20 /04 /aprile /2013 00:00


Condividi post
5 giugno 2012 2 05 /06 /giugno /2012 00:00

Salta - Jujuy -Quebrada de Humauaca - Quiaca (Bolivian border)

link to the map


Dear All,

as always in life, one makes plans and then things ended to be different...and of course this happen as well in our travel...

Till to yesterday, when we cross the Quebrada de Las Conchas, we were sure that we will stop our travel in Salta, take some time in there and then go together to Buenos Aires...

...but,but, but we are just at 400 km from Bolivia...and we feel full of energy...and we heard many nice stories about the most northern part of Argentina...and we have almost ten days left...and...and...and...we are what we are...Ilaria likes this aesthetic final of the story and Arthur as well...so let's do it, till to La Quiaca!


We say goodbye to our gentle hosts and their cute cats...


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Could it come with me???


  ...and we leave toward our daily (but not final!) destination: Salta "la Bella"!

We ride through gentle hills more and more green. It's hard to think that till yesterday we were in the middle of a desertic rocky desert!


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How can it change so fast the landscape in this country?!?


The more we get closer to the city the more the weather gets worst and we end our days under a shower as we didn't have since the Carrettera Austral...definitely was not the day to remember as the end of our bike travel!


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Now we know why is so green all around...


The day after we leave Salta and start cycling toward San Salvador de Jujuy our daily destination. The sky is still grey and heavy clouds promise nothing good for the coming hours...

Luckily, there are all along the road plenty of little roadside schrine dedicated to Gauchito Gil which should protect us along the way... All through Argentina, we saw those little red flags attached to the trees along the roads and to the back of the cars, but only here in the north we learnt the story of this local Robin Hood! (to know more: link)


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After 6000km we finally know who is the hero of the red flags...


Actually, our day was, despite the rain, signed by the good chance. The road that we take brings us through an unexpected and amazing dense rain forest which remind us the, by this time, very far Carrettera Austral...


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Like in the Southernmost part of Chile, but with a beautiful paved road!


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And the desert is just a hundred km from here...


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Where is Tarzan??? 


After a pleasant trip in the jungle we arrive at a pass from which only few km are left for today...

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...and not so many remain also for our final destination!


Next day we leave Jujuy with a completely different weather! It is a warm and shiny day...


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...the calm (and beauty) after the tempest...


...but the sign o f the previous rains are left on the top of the 5000m mountains surrounding the city...


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Just few km north from Jujuy we enter in a large valley whom bottom is almost completely occupied by the riverbed of the Rio Grande almost dry in winter and incredibly abundant in summer which correspond to the rain season.


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Rio Grande and Baco Piccolo...


This valley is actually the beginning of the UNESCO World Heritage Quebrada de Humauaca which is famous for its incredible contrast of colours...


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The sides of the valley... 


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  ...and the bottom of the valley...


In this place Nature uses all its talent to create an incredible landscape made of mountains which look like painted by an artists...


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 Violette, purple, green, rose... 


Moreover, the valley it has been populated during the last 10.000 years and it is studded of small and charming villages...


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In the streets of Pumamarca...


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n front of the Cerro de los Sietes Colores...


The population of the valley is mostly made by indigenous which are the descendant of the thousand years old culture of Omaguaca (link). They leave on both sides of the river even though there arealmost  no bridges crossing it therefore...


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...they pull of their shoes and they simply cross it!


We are fascinated by this place where the human beings live in so close and harmonic contact with Mother Earth, the Pacha Mama, and still consider the respect of allnature creatures as thire most important law... 

That is why we offer you some more images of kind of utopiac place...


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 Close to the village of Maimarà...


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 Just behind Arthur in the middle of the riverbed, same place as the picture above...



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Adobe hauses, small cultivated fields, colored and snowy mountains...


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...men, animals, plants and rocks...in perfect coexistence....


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Yes, just in case you have any doubt, we love this place!


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WQe just get crazy for it!


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Maybe stiring a bit up, at our passage,  the curiosity of local people... 


But we should not forget that here we arealready at more than 2000 m a.s.l., how could be then be so green and flourishing???

Welll, maybe because we are at the Tropics!!!


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Just crossing the Tropic Parallel...


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...of the Capricorn, of course! 


But we can't stop here, this is not our final destination for today!


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Happy cyclist n° 1 pedaling toward the arrival city, Tilcara,...


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...and happy cyclist n° 2 coming just behind...

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...and we finally arrive!


Now we have just 200 km left:they are too many for just two days of ride because on the Altipiano Andino at almost 3000 m we can't make the big exploits... That's why we decide for three relaxing, less than 70 km/day, stages to conclude  our travel...

According to this relaxing philosophy we take our time at in each place that remain along our path...


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Pic-nic at the "capital" of the Quebrada: the village of Humauaca...and one of its inhabitabts...


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Can I have the red hat, please?


Actually we relax a bit too much and when is already 5 PM we have done just two third of the planned road...


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Where do we go at this time of the day??? 



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Let's stop close to this natural votive shrine, maybe it is a good source of inspiration... 


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...and suddenly we find our way...


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....or, better, the way to the place where to stop for the night...




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...the hause of Clara and Hector...


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...our hosts and some few more guests...


We spend a pleasant evening with this family which roots are deeply and since ages linked to those places in the middle of the Andes. They decide to dedicate their life to welcome people and give them a little taste of their life style and their beliefs. We learn and exchange a lot and the next day we are full of energy and positive thinkings for the before last lag of our bike journey!


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Let's go! 


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The most of the road is by now on our back, but we can't still get lazy!


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Many spectators wait for us along the way...


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...even some Andean Condors decide to show up to encourage us!


We can't disappoint all of them!

Therefore, despite the altitude (we are at 3500 m) and the tiredness (in the last two bike weeks, we rode around 1300 km), we continue along the Altipiano!


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Smile for the camera!


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Slowly going uphill...but we fill it in the legs!


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Attention! Lama!


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Shall we stop admiring the landscape or shall we go?


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Come on! Only 108 km are left before the boundary!


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Let's go!


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The road is straight in front of us!


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Well, at least from the highest point we reach now, we can only go downhill...


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...and at full speed!


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And finally we reach the plane...and the pampa!


This landscape of infinite flat grass, the pampa, is so similar to the one we met 6000 km ago...down in the Tierra del Fuego...the only difference are just few thousands meter difference in altitude...

...but the sensations of freedom and beautiful emptiness are the same!


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Riding toward our last evening...


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...our last sunset apero...


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...our last campsite... 


And now our last day!


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Leaving in the early morning ...


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...when the world is still asleep...  


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...well some creatures are already along the road...


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...and they are really cute...


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...and the road continue under our wheels...seems to never end...


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...but look! Only 20 km are left...we are really...


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...really arrived!


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Yes, we are at La Quiaca at the Bolivian Boundary!


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Not so bad...but actually we are at 6279 km since when we left Ushuaia...


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Next adventure, if it will never exist, will start from where we finish today. HERE!


Somehow what it was two years ago just an idea became a plan.

What was a plan became a long flight across the ocean and then down toward the closest lands to Antartica. 

And from this remote lands a six months unique experience on two wheels started.

We had a lot of fun and a lot of chance.

We met so many different people.

We saw incredible places.

We felt the power of the nature with all our senses. 

We experienced our strenght and our limits.

Learn so much.

Every single moment.




See you next!  Alla prossima!  A la prochaine!  ¡Hasta la próxima!  Bis naechste Mal!

Condividi post
23 maggio 2012 3 23 /05 /maggio /2012 00:00

Rodeo - Villa Union -Chile Cito -Cafayate - Salta

link to the map


Hi all,


It is a bit more than one month that our bike tour is finished. Arthur is since the beginning of May back to "norma lworking life" in Lausanne and Ilaria, still in nomadic mood, just finished to travel through the USA Nationals Parks and is now kind of settled for few days in San Francisco. 


Now is definitely the time to take the time for counting you the last part of our story!


Let's remember the facts. Close to the end of March we passed in Argentina crossing the Paso Agua Negra and now (well sometimes ago, but we speak at the present tima as the souvenir in our mind are strong as if it was just yesterday...) we are on the eastern side of the Andes.

First pueblo on our road: Rodeo...mainly famous not for the horse riding but for...wind surfing!

Arthur began wind surfing last year on the Leman lake...waiting weeks and weeks for good winds...15 nodes were there the best affordable conditions... but here in this "zona de viento" every day is 30 to 40 nods!!!

Basically windsurf PARADISE!!!! 


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You say windy???



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Are you ready?


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Let's go!!!!!!!!!!!!


We stay few days in this mecca of the windsurf. Meeting strange and interesting people:


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With JuanJo, the local Richard Geere!


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Enjoyingtime at the Lamaral Hostel 


We leave Rodeo late in the morning. The landscape is mineral and very very dry.


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Does it rain here?


The guy of the hostel say us that until the next village it's only down hill, 40 km in 1 hour!!!

Sounds easy isn't it?...

....If just would be true...


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 First part of the supposed downhill...


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Good by Rodeo Lake, we'll be back...maybe... 


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Nice erosion...

But as it doesn't rain so much here...another natural element should create this wonderful erosion..maybe the wind??? 



In fact the area along the lake famous for wind surfing is reasonably called "Cuesta del viento"....but also this rock formations where we are passing close by have a quite explicit name:


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Los templos del viento...


The guy was right, now it's down hill along the river (the lake is made by a dam)...but we are "accompanied" by a really strong front wind...unexpected here, isn't it?

We must pedal hard almost as we have done in Terra del Fuego...welcome back in Argentina!


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Down hill, but front wind! 


We finally join San Jose de Jachal and decide to continue. We cross a green valley with many ancient houses in adobe.

Adobe are bricks made, in general, with straw, water and sandy clay.  They are the tipicalconstruction material used in this northen part of Argentina (but in many many other parts of the world as well). They have really good isolation properties and they are a really cheap construction material as all the necessary ingredients are just aroud us. Moreover  the hauses looks then really aesthetic and perfectly integrated in the landscapewhichas, of course, very similar colours!

To know more: link


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The tipical adobe houses


Althought it's quite late the light and the temperature are now so nice that we decide to continue. The landscape continue changing and at a certain point we reach a big rocky wall with a very narrow  tunnel...


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A strange tunnel...


...which leads us to a wonderful scenary with an amazing sunset light! 

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Happy rider in sunset light...


At the end we realize that we are at the top of a plateau and with the really final light of the day we go down in the colourful plane jst in front of us...


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A winding downhill and an oniric landscape to coclude our day trip...


Down the slope is a police station and, as in Terra del Fuego, we are nicely welcomesby the local argentinian policemen. They offer us beers, meat, their kitchen to cook and a place where to put our the tent.


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Argentinian police station...one of the best accomodation of the country!


Today we aim to reach Villa Union, approximately 100km northward. The road is flat, straight and paved and go through a broad valley...no villages neither hauses.... We cross really few vehicles, mostly pickups driving toward the only thing attracting our attention in this not really exciting strech of the tour: a huge mine. One of the hundreads disseminated in the area as we will see later on...


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Behind the montain, dust from mineral extraction.


After 75km we are finally again on the road 40 where we rode the first time several thousands km ago in Patagonia!


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Next time in Harley Davidson on Road 66...


The next city to reach tomorrow is Chile Cito on the other side of a snowy and  majestic 6000 mountain.


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Are we sure we want o cross this mountain?


The road is actually turning around the summit.

The road starts pretty flat passing through nice red rock formations... doesn't look so hard for the moment...


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Which will be the next difficulty?


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Flat all around...


After this soft initial part we have now to attack the famous Cuesta di Miranda...


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First on asphalt


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Than red nice ripio


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In the middle of the cactus


The road gets steeper and steeper and the wind increases getting close to a narrow passage carved in the mountain: the Venturi effect works against us...  

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Last efforts against the wind ...


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Here we are at the pass!!!!


And now let's just relax with a 30km downhill!

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Down in the canyon



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On a really scenic road


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And finally back on asphalt


At Chile Cito we spend few days meeting other cyclists, writing the blog and making some city seeing. In between we visit themuseum of the Cable Carril: the aerial ropeway that ran from Chilecito to the gold mines in La Mejicana, high up in the Andes. Builted in 1904 by a german company, it is 36 km long and ended at an elevation of 4600 m asl, making it the longest and highest ropeway on the planet at that time. Even today, its vertical height of 3528 meters  remains unchallenged!

Despite the uniqueness of this masterpiece of engineering, no funding from the argentinian governement are devoted to the preservation of it. The existence of a museum and the preservation works are only thanks to the guy in the photo here below: the nephew of one of the last generation of miners who worked in this place...

(for the german speakers here are some extra interesting details: link )


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At the cable carril museum


Nowaday the mines are dismissed, but La Mejicana (which was, according to the guy of the museum, the famous El Dorado) and the rest of the mountain chain called Famatina is still attracting many multinational mining companies which hope to open a new enourmous open sky mine...

This idea doesn't like at all to the people of ChileCito and all the villages at the foot of those "gold" mountains because of the enormous environmental and social  problems that the so called "megamineria" would imply: link

Till to now the people manage to throw out all the companies which tried to start any kind of mining activity in the area (link), but till when they will manage to fight against such strong economical and political preassures?



Water yes, gold no!!!


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No we know as well...


We continue riding at the feet of those mountains of peace and disputes...



...and we feel so smalls on earth...


In this interesting region we learn a lot discussing with people, before about the mining issues and now about the everyday life with this unusual couple...


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Grandfather with the little child searching for their donkeys.


Cactus along the road are really big: like real trees.

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Hope it won't fall now...


The next difficulty of the trip is the Cuesta di Zapata: an ancient trail built by the Inca, succesively trasformed in part of the Ruta 40, but nowaday closed to cars because of too bad conditions...

We camp just at the biginning of the canyon where the rouad climbs up.


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Nice campsite


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...with full equiped kitchen...


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...sunset with cactuses while preparing dinner...


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...and full moon night...What asking more to life?!?


After a good sleepingnigntwe are ready for the Cuesta!


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On the ancient inca trail


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Up and up and still up on an amazing road


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Sometimes a bit too stony...


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...sometimes on the sand from the seasonal rivers which cut the trail... 

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....sometimes close to the crateres left from the seasonal rivers below the trail...


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...but in any case a really really nice ride!


At 17.00 in the afternoon we finally reach Londres making the record of the shortest bike strech in the longest time: 20km in 5 hours!!!!

To relax after this quite strenous day we offer us a forbidden night visit at the Inca site of  "El Schincal".

At the light of the full moon, in the middle of this ancient ruins where the only sound is the cricket sing, we feel like in a dream...


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With the moon as only guide light...


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Under the stars...


Salta is now not so far anymore as well as the famous andean altipianos. Today we will the first of them!

We ride until the night with a strong back wind and around us big 5000 m mountains.


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Riding on the Altiplano.


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Not snow, but sand!


As protection against the wind getting colder and colder (without realizing it, we reach almost 2500m!) , we finally put up the tent lose to the unique structure we find in the middle of this totally flat and wild altopiano.


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Where can we put the tent???


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Finally safe from the wind!


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Breakfast in the sunrise


The day after we descend along the Valles Calchaquíes, a region still populated by a lot of diaguitas native comunities. The  Quilmes one is famous in the whole Argentinabeing their name associated  to the most popular brand beer of the country, but we discover that really few people know why. Actually this is one of the few comunity which resisted with tenacity against, first, the Inca invasors and then the spanish ones till when they were all deported in Buenos Aires hoping in this way to definitely destroy their strong and rooted culture....

There are the ruins of their ancient city of Quilmes and the interesting Pachamama museum dedicated to their culture.


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The Pachamama (Mother Earth).


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Praying mask toward the sunset...


In the recent decades some of the descendent of the Quilmes gather back in their origin land and now it exist a new Quilme. We arrive there at Easter and we were invited from a nice couple of  craftsmen to celebrate with them and put our tent in their land.


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With our gentle Quilmes hosts.


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Our Easter campsite .


The day after we reach the famousArgentinian wine region of Cafayate.


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How is the red wine here?


After only 40km we can't resist to the temptation of trying the local wine production and we stop in the lovely village of Cafayate for a delicious and copious lunch accompanied by a wonderful bottle of Malbec.


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With a name like this we can't continue without lunch!


Obviously no way to continue pedal in the afternoon...so better continue profiting with some extra enogastronomic testing and some good local music!

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  Enjoying hurban life with our new argentinian friend. 


Next day we are not really in perfect shape, but we still decide to continue cycling.

Now less than 200 km are left from our final arrival point, Salta!

From Cafayeate we have two possibilities:

Option 1: Asphalt road along the beautiful Quebrada della Conchas.

Option 2: Ripio road again along the beautiful Valles Calchaquíes.


Beautiful for beautiful and given the after party body condition we take the asphalt road....


...and we definitely get not disappointed by our choice!

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Nice landscapes...


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...nice rock formations...


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...nice cliffs...


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....and nice animals...


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What asking more?


Maybe a bit of climbing over this incredible sandstone structures which remind us the Wadi Rum in Jordan...


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But here is not allowed...


Better just have a  break and enjoy the view!

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One, two, three... Smile!


The Quebrada is wonderful but the temperature is in the middle of the day pretty high, luckily we find a natural schelter...prretty amazing...

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The devil gorge

...where we can have a relaxing lunch accompanied by some live music!


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Concert in a rock amphitheatre



The canyon likes us so much that we didn't realize the time passing and the weather changing...

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Now we really have to hurry a bit...


Luckily we manage to find a small village and other gentle people which let us planting the tent in their land just before a big storm comes over our head...


Tomorrow we will reach Salta and finish our bike travel.

This is the plan, but...read the next article!

Condividi post
26 aprile 2012 4 26 /04 /aprile /2012 22:33

Dear All,


we have finally finish our travel reaching La Quiaca at the boundary with Bolivia!


This happened the 16th of April after more than 6200 km made in approximately 100 days of effective cycling.


The rest of ther time of this incredible 5 and a half months of life between Chile and Argentina, we spend it discovering the countries, the people and writing you in this blog...


When we came back to Salta we decide to not spend our remainig day together in front of a computer.


Then the 20th Arthur took a plane to come back to Europe and Ilaria a bus to Buenos Aires.


Right now Arthur is cycling throught France and Ilaria is in San Francisco...


Both of us we can't write now the last part of the story but we will certainly do it in the comig week, for you and for us!


See you soon then!






Condividi post
2 aprile 2012 1 02 /04 /aprile /2012 00:00

We are now in Chilecito along the Ruta 40.


As you can read on the note on the top right our blog page, very bad news arrive in the last days from Europe and for few days we didn't know what to do and think.


Finally we decide to still publish our stories (3three article before this one) and continue the travel till to the end even with the big pain that is now accompaning us. 


The aim is to join Salta before the 20th of April: the day of Arthur's back flight.

We have still 600km to ride in approximately two weeks so it should be ok.


See you soon.



Condividi post
27 marzo 2012 2 27 /03 /marzo /2012 00:00

La Serena - Vicuña - Juntas del Toro - Paso Agua Negra - Guardia Vieja

link to the map


Dear All,


So after Ilaria recovers from her stomach-ache we take the road toward east in the direction of Agua Negra Pass.

We are now at the sea level and we have to reach, in about 250km, the Chile-Argentina border at basically the hight of Mont Blanc...

As information: the spelling and altitude of the pass changed very often on the panel we encoutered along the road... but the official version is Paso Agua Negra, 4770 msm.


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Let's go for the new adventure!


The valley going toward the pass is called Elqui Valley and is famous for two things quite far from each other: agriculture and astronomy...


The agriculture is really efficient because of the sun, which shines nearly every day at the bottom of the valley, and the river Elqui which originates, at the top of the valley,  from the glaciars and intense precipitations in the Andeas during the "Invierno Andino".

The resulting scenery is quiet strange: green in the centre and dry on the sides.

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The principal culture is grapes to do the famous Pisco... 

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Grape culture in the center....


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and cactus culture on the borders! 



...but we can also find al kind of vegetables and fruits. 

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The delicious Papayas....


Many people come from all over chile to work there during the harvest period.  

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Grapes driying for producing Pisco



At the beginning the road is quiet flat and only far away we can observe hight mountains. We wonder what is expecting us.... 

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Where are we going???


Km after km it becomes more and more dry and steep. It's really warm, but hopefully we have some shadow zones...


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When a tunnel becomes a pleasant fresh place where to be....


...and ride with a strong backwind and can go with an average speed of 20km.  


We now arrive in the zone of the famous observatories...

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...which most belong to US or Europe...

Many abservatories lies at the top the mountains...

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like observatory Gemini.


But we are not really motivated to climb there by bike. Hopefully from Vicuña, the first city of the valley, we can visit a touristic observatory, Mamalluca, where a very passionated astronomist shows us planets and stars with the telescop and explains us rudiments of astronomy.



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Welcome to Mamalluca observatory


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With the head in the stars...


If you want you can download a software called stellarium there:  link and observe from your desk the same sky we saw in the night of the 22nd of March 2012 in Vicuña...


In Vicuña we met Katia, a russian photographer which loves to use not exactly the most modern equipment...

We are curious to see the result...


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The bird will come out from the camera?


  After Vicuña the contrast between the center and the border of the valley is really strong:


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Green islands in the middle of the desert


The rio Elqui near the road remembers us how this life miracle is possible.


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Water: the spring of life!


In some places, parcels are waiting for irrigation and culture.


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Are you thirsty???


After a while the valley turn right and from here it's only stones and few cactus. We ride surrouding by steep and lofty mountains.


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We feel very small.


We are now about 150km from thr coast and 100km from the pass. How the landscape will change next?

The plan for today is to sleep at the border office Juntas del Toro.


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20km left for today....


After 90 km riding with a pleasant back wind, we reach the control point. Between Chile and Argentina, the border is simbolyze by the cordillera and very often the passport control offices are far from the real border and separates by a kind of no man's land.


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Will the customs be kind us??


Yes, like very often customs was very kind with us. They offer us a real room to sleep with warm showers. We could also cook good meal in their kitchen to recover energy for the last part of the road.


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In front of our last customs hotel at 2000m on the sea level.


We now enter in the no mans land. To resume it's 174km of ripio road until the next custom office. In between lives nobody, just the Andeas and the pass at the 4770m... For sure we won't do it in a single day: two, perhaps three days will be necessary to cross. Right now we don't really know because we have to deal with cold, wind, altitude as we haven't done till now.

Nevertheless we are optimists and definitely curious to discover how is to ride at altitude of the Mont Blanc....




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Let's go!!!



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Have a good trip!!!


 Since the first km, the atmosphere completely change...


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The famous coloured mountains of the Andes....


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Lights and shadow in the morning....


The road hopefully is really good and not so steep.


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Happy rider nº1


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Happy rider nº2


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And happy rider nº 3....Alias mini Lum on the Lama


On the road we are not completely alone: jeeps and cars sometimes offer us a nice cloud of dust... but hopefully , in this season, we meet no more than 4 our 5 vehicules per day.


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Nowdays jeep pulls horses... those are the the modern time...


Still the most of the time we are alone on this road who winds in the mountain.


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Like in a dream....



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In the middle of nowhere.


After a bit of effort we reach the place called La Laguna at 3150m on the sea level.


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A lake here???


And an amazing scenary is waiting for us:


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No comment....



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And large smiles...


From here to the summits at each corner offer different colours and shapes...

  Just to give an idea:


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So  much beautines... too much to go fast! We decide that we will do the pass in three days, taking our time and appreciating the surrounding nature.Therefore after 35km we stop at 3190m in La Colorada....


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Here we are!


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Our luxurious hotel...


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Here is the double room...


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...here is the american kitchen....


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...and here the view from the terrace!!!


During the night an unknown creature visit us...We hear it all the nights walking with only to feets around the tent, but noway to observe it.

Ilaria thinks it's a ghost and Arthur supposes is a gooze...we will never know.


At the morning nothing around and we continue our road.


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More cloudy today....but let's go the same...remember that we are on an international road...



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4 000m!!!


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After 25km riding, we are now 20km from the summit...ops I should say from the pass...


Like yesterday we decide that it's enough for today, agood night at 4000m to acclimatize and tomorrow the pass will be for us.


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But where is the hotel??


Here it is! A perfect place with soft grass, river just closeby and nice view....


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Have a good night...


And the night was good...but cold. At the morning the river is frozen and water in the bottles is ice. Nevertheless our warm sleeping bag were perfect with there -8ºC confort.


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Was it cold during the night???


Today is THE day...and we couldn't expect more: blue sky and no wind.

 Even if it will climb steep we will manage!!!

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Mmmmm...the right altitud seems to be 4753m...not sure...


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Good by Chile....


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Welcome to Argentina !!!!


And in this high and remote place who could we meet???


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Two not exactly young really gentle men from Calabria (southern region of Italy) which remember us that, still, we are not so far from the civilization...


...and we will reach it just after this beautiful downhill in the middle of the cerros...


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Are your breaks OK?


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Be carefull !!!


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Condividi post
21 marzo 2012 3 21 /03 /marzo /2012 00:00

Hi every body,


In italian we say: "Il troppo stroppia" and in french: "Trop de velo tue le velo"...

In other words, sometimes we have enough of  cycling and we need something else to avoid to loose that flavour and the pleasure of our bike tour.

That's why here and there we made some breaks, not only for recovering the legs, but as well to change our mind and refind motivation to continue the travel.

Now we will show you a bit how we spent our last "recovering times" on Chile before crossing the Andeas, reach Argentina and start the last part of our journey.


The first pause was at Valparaiso or Valpo as the local people call this charming city at the border of the ocean which is, as well, the most important harbour close to the Chile capital Santiago.


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Valpo's view from Lucile and Julien house...


There we spend our time doing various things other than cycling..


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Arthur's preferred non-cycling activity...


For example by visiting the city, which extends from the sea up to the surrounding hills or "cerros".


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View from the top of a cerro to the neightbouring one... 


The flat part of the city has big buildings, skyscrapes, historical palaces and monuments...


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Arturo Prat (chilenean hero) and Arthur Lespagnol (well...)

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Valpo historical center...


...but as soon as we start climbing the hills the urban space becomes totally different.


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The small houses appear as stiched to the extremely steep slopes...


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...and they seem to grows one on top of each other...


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...they are extremly coloured and often painted with flashing tones...


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...beautiful "graffiti" or paints cover the old or greish surfaces... 


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...freshly renewed hauses cohabited side by side to some which are really in a decandent state...


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...small walking trails create like a labyrinth where is very easy to get lost...


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...many almost vertical stairs allow to reach the upper zone of the city..


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...but how could, for example, the old people move in such a place?


To face the problem more than ten elevators were built since the XIX century...


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...unluckily nowaday only few of them are kept in use...


...but mainly for turistical purposes meaning that they are quite expensive and only in the "nice" hurban areas...


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...people are fighting in the city to regain the social role of them: link 


Apart discovering Valpo, we also enjoy really pleasant evenings with our hosts...


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During the week end, in the middle of our Valpo's period, Arthur and Ilaria choose to split for a while and dedicate to different activities: Arthur went to the Andes...


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...for a bit of mountaneering and wildlife with Lucile and Julien...


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...whereas Ilaria decides to meet with some old Erasmus chileans friends, Felipe and Alejandro, which live in Santiago...


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...and take the chance to discover the Capital...


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Palcio de la Moneda: the presidential house.


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Salvador Allende: last Chile president before the military dictature


The past...

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...which melts with the present...

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Its culture...


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The cultural center La Moneda.

...and fight for having culture...


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Sebastian Piñera (on the bottom left), actual president of Chile (and the first right wing president after the dictature), according to the views of the students fighting for having high quality public education (link).


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In front of Santiago University...


Just attached to the quite informal, eccletic and artistic Valpo are the more elegant, rafinate and expensive Viña del Mar and its surroundings...


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Viña del Mar...


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...and its coast...


After more than one week we finally feel ready to start again our travel...


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Good bye Valparaiso...

Leaving the city we could personally experience the chilean manifestation (and police repression) style: it was the first one of the new academic year. We crossed the university zone where it took place the march a little time before, but we didn't take photos. Maybe because a bit scared by the numerous military panzers in the surroundings and because we were crying and coughing for the dense tear gas still in the air...


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A more pacific manifestation...


Next break was 400 km northen in La Serena city. Four days of Panamericana at 100km/day were enough to motivate us to stop another time...

Moreover, this city really deserve her name ("serena" means in italian "peaceful") : it is calm, relaxing...


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...with beautiful colonial style buildings...

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...lively road and ancient churches...

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Definitely it seems to be in a spanish town...

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Walking around this town we realize how strong is impressed in us the european aesthetics taste...


The time in La Serena was short, but definitly pleasant ...

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... moreover Ilaria was a bit sick...

therfore those few days were really important to recharge us with the dose of energy necessary for next step of our travel: crossing the Andes passing from the top of Mont Blanc...

Condividi post
19 marzo 2012 1 19 /03 /marzo /2012 00:00

Valparaiso - Vina del Mar - Concon - Pichicuy  - Huentelauquen - Socos - La Serena

link to the map


Hi everybody,


After Valparaiso our new objectives are to ride till to La Serena, then pass throgh the Elqui Valley and finally cross the Agua Negra Pass in order to reach Argentina.

We have two options:

- nº1: passing in the interior, between ocean and cordillere,

- nº2: bording the ocean on the Panamericana Hightway.


As the pass we want to climb is at 4770m, the most we wait to go the most we risk to find the road closed by the snow. That's why we choose the quicker solution nº2. 


Leaving Valparaiso we have about 60km before joining the Panamericana and many possible roads. The philosophy is to remain near to the coast...even if sometimes it's complicated....


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The coast road...


Althought we take a weird itinerary we manage to leave the agglomeration of Valpo-Viña


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Good by buildings...


But as in Europe, close to big harbours are often the biggest industrial zones...therefore we can enjoy a visit at the chilean petrol refinery center area...


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Welcome chimneis...


Finally we reach the famous and longely expected PANAMERICANA hightway!!!


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Take care with the speed limit at 120km/h....


Now we have just to carry straight till to La Serena.


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Ilaria tries to not loose the road.


The next 350km on the highway are, in term of safety, really fine because we have a very large cycle lane only for us. The most difficult part is, actually, to cope with the noise of the passing trucks and the impression of being very very slow....


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On our large cycle lane...


We decide to split the route in 3 parts of 100km each and sleep in the small villages along the coast.


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Next exit is for us after 100km on the Panamericana....


Hopefully the traffic is not so huge and the view is very often really nice.


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Let's have a bath??? At the next exit!!


The indication remember us that Chile is really really long. We are yet in the north part of the country and there is still 1844km to the most northern city!


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Let's go to Arica??? Mmmm...maybe another time...


As we are on the west part of the continent, every evening we can enjoy amazing sunsets:


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A good present after an hard day...


Km after km the landscape becomes drier and drier remembering us that just a bit more northern from here starts the aridest desert of the world: Atacama desert....



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At the door of Atacama desert....


The wind is strong, but hopefully always on the back or lateral.

Here are the largest eolic fields of Chile.


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It's easy to smile with back wind....


Before La Serena, the Panamericana quit the ocean side and enter in the middle of the desert:


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The desert with flowered cactus...


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And far away the Andes wait for us...


Where to find the motivation? We must be a little bit crazy not to take the bus?


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You see far away, at the end? Our aim for today is to go below those hills...


After 3 days on the Panamericana we finally reach La Serena. It was not so terrible.


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Last down hill to the sea...


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Arrival of the happy riders

Condividi post
15 marzo 2012 4 15 /03 /marzo /2012 17:34

After 1 week in Valparaiso, it's time to leave for the last part of our bike trip.


The plan is to cycle along the Pacific coast until La Serena and then turn right into the Elqui Valley. Here it's famous for the wine and the astronomic stations because the sky is supposed to be the nicest of the world.


At the end of this valley we will try to cross in Argentina by the pass Agua Negras 4770m.


From here the objective is to join Salta from where Arthur has the return flight the 20 of april.


To resume in few words we have a little more than 1 month to do 1600km, hard but not impossible!!!


See you soon.




Condividi post

What's That?

  • : BacLum on the bike
  • : Pour nous, pour ceux qui nous aiment et ceux qui sont juste curieux.
  • Contatti

Aspettando la partenza

Il resto passa in secondo piano. Il resto è già pronto o è solo questione di pochi dettagli.

Forse solo lo spirito aspetta ancora un pochino.

Tanto ancora ci lega a questa realtà per permetterci di essere con il nostro animo dall'altra parte del mondo.

Meglio così.

Si vive ora, adesso, in questo istante.

Il passato e il futuro sono solo ricordi e congetture che danzano nelle nostre teste.

E il presente arriverà...fra poco più di 5 giorni.

When we are travelling with a crazy woman...

The point is that Lum is a bit crazy... she's an idealist and a dreamer...maybe toooooo much...certainly even. So what's going wrong? Well, she lost motivation, she doesn't feel anymore the bike challenge... and when ahe loose motivation, she become very, very, very annoying. She start doubting and complaning aboiut evreything.... Bac is almost saturated. He want a clear decision from her part! Either she continue without complaining every hour, or she has leaves, or, at least, she has to propose something!!!! Therefore the 25th they take a big big and warm breakfast in the hut close to the campsite, they open the maps and they try to make the point of the situation. Next would be the cities of Calafate, then El Chalten and the Villa O'Higgings. From here they should start the Carretera Austral. This is around 1000 km or unpaved road! Beautiful, certain, but hard! Either Lum finds back her motivation or Bac doens't want to make it with her because it will be a torture for her and him! So she takes a while to think and finally she comes with the solution...a CRAZY solution! She has lost her motivation because the travel has lost his meaning in the moment in which we did the bus travel! So we have, at least, to go back to Punta Arenas and, at least, try to make all the path on the continent by bike! So the 25th in the afternoon they come back to this city. The 26th they take a day off as well and from tomorrow, the 27th, they will be again cycling! This time they will try to make all by bike and they hope in 20 days to reach the beginning of the Carretera Austral making the path describedin the article of the 25-26/11/11.

Hopefully the wind will reward their stubborness and craziness...

For Our Friends And Their Families