As we were sitting at a traffic light while leaving Arequipa, next to us a guy and a girl on a moto said hi and asked where we were going. We were headed to Tacna near the border into Chile and so were they so we gassed up and helmets off met brother/sister Carlos (23) and Angie(21) from Bogota Colombia. They are traveling 2up on their overloaded 200cc bike for 5 months now and have a year trip planned. Angie has Cerebral Palsy and cannot walk and needs help with most daily chores. Their life at home is very difficult and her loving brother arranged that they do this big trip around South America together. We have been travelling together now 10 days ish as they are incredible people – awesome to be with and we have seen many great things together.
Below I will tell more of what we have done but first I would like to ask please a favour from all of you readers. Please donate some money to help them travel. Any amount would be of great help to them, either a cup of coffee or a case of beer, anything. Whatever funds you send TK and I match up to $1000. You could e-transfer interact me the funds and I will forward to Carlos via Western Union. A while back they had an accident and Carlos broke his ankle which then drained a large amount of their funds. They are down to their last couple hundred dollars and Carlos is planning to go to Buenos Aires to find work for a while so they may continue. This is very tricky as Angie needs to be in a good place and they are very concerned for their future. During their travels they have amassed quite a large following online and have been interviewed on Peruvian TV but are proud and do not want to ask for money. They are truly incredible people and much deserving of our support. At home Carlos said Angie would not get out of bed and was very depressed, and now on this trip she is a different person, and laughs and smiles a lot. If you could please send a couple of dollars, please send the interac e-transfer to my email address firstname.lastname@example.org and please make the answer to the security question – Angie – This will only work if u have canadian bank account. If you do not then you can send a Western Union transfer directly to Carlos Sanchez. Send me the WU confirmation number and i will send it to Carlos so he can receive the funds.
Anyways, back to the story. We travelled to Tacna at the Chilean border. They had arranged to stay with the local motorcycle club – The Black Choppers. We were also invited and while very nervous about the invitation – we accepted. We arrived at the club house/compound and the guys were awesome. We had a party that night – bbq and bon fire and then invited to the Presidents house for Sunday dinner. Some members play volleyball Sunday nights so I jumped in and shamed our country. They fed us and took total care of us and gave us an escort out of town the next day. It was an incredible experience and we have since been indoctrinated into the network of moto clubs down here. When we travelled onwards we were put in touch with other clubs moving forward – although timing didn’t work out.
The coast of Chile is more and more desert but incredible landscapes that never got boring. We all continued south and diverted to the coast to a remote fishing village of Pisagua for a great free camp on the ocean. Next day we rode thru large city of Iqueique where a random motorcyclist, Nelson, pulled us over – and invited us to his house for lunch and a place to chill for a bit. Have to say the hospitality we have experienced is amazing.
Next day cruised down the coast then inland to the desert town of San Pedro De Atacama. While there are many cool things to do here, we just camped and hung out as were next continuing east over the Andes toward Argentian so we can go watch some of the Dakar rally. San Pedro is a verrrry touristy town and prices are insane – it cost us $80 for a shitty room so I was happy to leave. The road east out of town heads up over Paso De Jama which I think tops out at near 5000m high! The bikes were running slow and temps cold. They closed the pass the day before and day after we left due to cold temps and likelihood of snow so we were lucky to get through. The Argentine border was also slow – took about 3 hours and we were late in the day. Rain was on the horizon with lightening strikes everywhere and we were still very high up so it was cold but amazingly the road always seemed to bend out of the way as we approached another storm cell. We came upon a road block as the heavy rains had buried the roads with some landslides and we could not get through. We had to scramble to get to this tiny village and ask around to rent a room as camping would have sucked with all the rain and cold. As always – it worked out and a verrrry nice family hooked us up and let us use their kitchen. Next day we left and had an incredible ride to large town of Salta. The change in scenery was amazing. We started the day on the altiplano then down into real nice canyons with many switchbacks then into the green valleys. Sadly, green means rain and that is what we got – a soaking yesterday but the first one in a very long time. From here we head to Belen to watch the Dakar rally then cross back into Chile.