We are still in the Atacama Desert, a desert which hasn't seen rain in many parts for over 400 years. We'll be leaving town heading east toward the border of Argentina.
I'm letting the boys refuel themselves American style. Self-service. ;-) Some support vehicle I am!!
It's so weird being on 4 wheels instead of 2. Especially when my friends around me are still on 2. I have to admit I get a bit jealous. However.. I am LOVING the air conditioner and radio. Change is good sometimes.
Well, actually there is a turn off. The first one I've seen and it was already known as an option from their planning. The boys pulled over to make a decision as well as make sure I saw which way they would go (I do not have a gps). The right turn means we have far less kilometers, but it's a dirt track and a pretty rough one from what they can tell from google earth. The decision is not so much for them.. they are on the best bikes for the roughest road you can come up with. The decision is whether I can make it up hill in sand and rubble with God knows how much weight in gear, water and fuel. The other route is longer but a lot of it continues to be paved. Not like good paved, but at least a bit more solid than sand.
There was no question really. As much as we want to make the 'smart' decision, boys will be boys. They are so excited to get into the dirt. We'll tackle the truck issues when and if they arrive. I'm personally not fussed one way or the other. If there is anything I know, these are the guys you want around no matter what happens and I have nothing to worry about.
Dag gone it, it's still somewhat paved.. what will they do?
This is what they did, and I was laughing so hard in the truck when I saw it.
The road did turn to gravel shortly after, but I was glad to see them getting some of their off road motorcycling steam out of their system. But keep in mind, they have to accomplish a world record shortly with these bikes, so try not to break anything?
These guys are dressed like identical triplets on three completely identical bikes, and I haven't got my head around being able to tell who is who unless they actually speak to me. However on this stop I paid closer attention. Just like true identical triplets, there is always one little thing that helps you know which one you are talking to. There are two things they wear that are not identical. Boots and goggles. While listening to them I noticed that Lukas has orange goggles (he is Austrian and they are his ski goggles) And Barton had recently bought these super good looking and expensive Oakley goggles. I thought they were so good looking I would consider changing my helmet out so I could wear these same kind of Oakley goggles someday. Oh well. I looked down at their boots and I noticed out of the three, Lukas wears white boots. The others have black. So I can only tell who I see from a distance by boots or air guitar. Up close I determine by goggles.
While I've got the truck stopped for a moment, I like to do a quick walk around and see if the tie downs are tight, or even worse, to see if I've lost anything yet.
Coming up over a ridge the boys are stopped. No doubt why! Look at the view! Who is coming to my truck window? Who is that???? C'mon, I thought you sorted that out! Ah, Walter.. paying attention now to his red zebra-like goggles. I was only with Lukas and Barton last time I studied goggles.
Anyway, check out our VIEW.......
Walter got a photo of me.. freezing..
Back into the truck and Walter holds back and points out to me that the lake in the distance is our goal destination for the night. Perfect timing. I'd like to set up camp before the sun goes completely down. But I have to admit, this is one of THE prettiest places I have EVER been on the planet. Breathtaking.
Walter got a shot of me driving away..
This planned stop and goal is to stay here in Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces, which is 3700 meters (12,140 feet) above sea level for a couple days as part of the acclimatization process. We will move up slowly to 2 more camps each higher in elevation before they will be able to begin the world record attempt later. For now.. just soaking up the beauty of being in the middle of "nowhere". I don't want to say nowhere, it is somewhere really cool... Ciao!