Paso de Jama
Translated by PROMT-Online-Translator
||Argentina / Chile
||Paso de Jama
||Lovely high mountain dessert
|Cuestan de Lipan: From Purmamarca
it goes about the Serpentinen with the name Cuestan de Lipan
about the 4170-m-high Abra de Portrerillos high on the
Altiplano, the big "plateau" (is not really level) in Argentina, Chile,
Bolivia and Peru. To acclimatise us we let ourselves have for the
rise two-day time, although we could have cycled to tell the truth
also not faster, because we about 16 litres of water including (there
is on the next 400 km because only one place and a small rivlet).
Our aim is San Pedro of the Atacama in Chile on the other side
of the Andes which we want to cross about the 4200-m-high Paso
|Sandstorm: On top we are glad
about the pass come already on the departure coming now, however,
thanks to taut headwind the joy is clouded a little bit. Then, nevertheless,
the departure becomes unsightly when the taut headwind develops to
the sandy storm. Though we are only on the edge of the sandy storm
and the sand to us around the ears flies still keeps to a certain
extent, however, the wind is so strong meanwhile that we are not able
to cycle downhill partially any more separate must push! Exactly at
this moment a spoke in the back wheel breaks with Nadine. Little successful
we try to find behind a small sandy hill protection to exchange the
spoke. Because we have luckily no experience, nevertheless, with broken
spokes (it is the second spoke break in more than 56,000 km) we need
of course quite long to us the new spoke, finally, in it have. The
valley lying before us that we could still see good from the pass
has disappeared meanwhile in a gigantic sandy cloud, so that we reach
for seeing that it will probably be the best as quickly as possible
on a more or less protected place our tent to be based. After we have
examined some street passages and have not considered, however, good
we whip our tent, finally, after just 28 km, behind a sort of coach
small house. With pleasure we would have gone in to the small house,
however, unfortunately, this was already abused as a toilet. Almost
the whole night there raves the storm, however, the next morning we
have again the nicest weather and only one light wind blows to us
on the departure to the Salinas Grandes.
|Salinas Grandes I: The Salinas
Grandes are a gigantic dry salt lake on a height of 3400 m. So far
the eye passes only brilliant white who is so garish that we carry
for a long time once again sunglasses and put cream on thickly with
solar cream to protect ourselves from the strong UV-rays. An anyhow
unreal scenery. Here, actually, we wanted to whip on the Salinas our
tent, however, yesterday because of the sandy storm we have not reached
them, and, nevertheless, today because of scanty stores of water we
still have to go some kilometres farther.
|Salinas Grandes II: Although
the Salinas Grandes like a gigantic, absolutely level surface work,
nevertheless, the salt crust has formed nothing but hexagonal fields.
How the single fields could have formed, however, we, nevertheless,
unfortunately, not rausfinden. Nevertheless, we are very grateful
|Llamas (Argentina).: Here the
first Llamas we get to see at close range. Llamas are the domesticated
form of the llamas. We have already more often seen the wild Guanakos
and Vicuñas though, nevertheless, they mostly remain on escape distance.
|Susques (Argentina).: Susques
is, actually, a small small town on the Altiplano that, nevertheless,
is rather active, because here the Argentine duty has sat down (120
km before the real border remotely).Für to us Susques the last possibility
to us is to be covered before San Pedro de Atacama with food there
should be (water also directly on the border), and thus we storm the
small Supermercados. Nevertheless, in the middle of the whole
duty bustle a wonderful small church which was built already in 1598
hides in Susques. From the inside affectionately are painted to us
in the special one the built with mortar seat possibilities along
the the church struck. Not to damage the nice paintings, nevertheless,
one may take photos inside to use no flash, and to take photos without
flash, nevertheless, it is too dark.
|Strong nightly frost at the southern
tropicon (Argentina).: We have crossed just the southern tropicon
and are therefore officially in the tropics. However, from palms,
beach and sunshine far and wide no track. Instead, we get our first
one really strict night frost. Shortly before sunrise have-11°C in
the tent and-18°C before the tent. In the inside tent we have a little
bit hoarfrost of our frozen breath air. Not to freeze by the icy heights
both have laid in addition to our warm sleeping-bags still a thin
summer sleeping-bag virtually as a kind of cover about us and have
connected with a zipper with the Isomatres. The system functions so
very well that to us both becomes too hot at night and we even start
to stimulate the sleeping-bags. Actually, we have another 2 hot-water
bottles including, however if it does not become much colder we have
bought them probably free of charge.
|Great plateaus (Argentina).: The
plateaus up here in Argentina are wonderful, in particular if the
surfaces exist of ice and salt.
|Vicuñas (Argentina): Vicuñas
on a salt lake. Vicuñas live on the Altiplano by heights more than
4000 m. The fine golden wool of the Vicuñas was the exclusive property
the Inca kings, and thus the elegant animals were the Spaniard by
the Incas strictly protected with the arrival were reduced the population
of the animals, nevertheless, from about 2 millions on presumably
just 10000, so that they were threatened almost before the extinction.
However, by protective programs the supplies have recovered meanwhile
|Paso of the Jama (Argentina and Chile):
In the Spanish the word paso is used not only for pass but also
for border crossings. Thus it comes that we several height data for
the Paso de Jama have: for the Argentine frontier station, for the
real border and for the highest elevation with the pass. Here at last
we have to go more than 4400 m over here. Now, actually, we are glad
about a nice 157-km-long departure to San Pedro de Atacama, however,
in the frontier station we have discovered a tip, that lets suppose
it not yet that will become completely so easy.
|The wind, the wind, the heavenly
child (Chile): Who believes that the big height, the big distances
were our main problems without water and places or even the strict
night frost, unfortunately, that has been mistaken. We deal it up
here because with a taut headwind. And with tightly I mean really
tightly. To us he comes at least as badly before us the wind in Patagonia.
The wind is so strong that we must come out in the level hardly more
than 6 km/h and thrash about partly violently on the departures to
reach 8 - 10 km/h. Although the street is asphalted we are mostly
glad if we in the evening 45 km have cycled. There comes that it is
very warm with from 6°C to 8°C not exactly (has to go according to
guide 20°C) and by the Windchilleffekt it looks damn cold. We go with
thick things, winter gloves, cap and Buff over the mouth (so that
wind and the sun to us do not break the lips totally). Without wind
we could enjoy the marvellous scenery even more, however, thus one
mostly says: Head under it and purely in the storm.
|Short lift (Chile): It goes uphill
and the headwind robs us of our last forces once again. After 20 km
we have made completely exhausted already the first break. Since the
break we have created just 5 km and are to be pushed just, besides,
uphill, because we do not come against the strong wind any more. About
500 m before us it looks in such a way, as if the street makes a strong
crease on the left and then we would get, finally, at least wind from
at an angle behind. We often enough had this hope, however, mostly
the wind has turned with our direction of the traffic also his direction,
so that we seriously do not expect an improvement also this time .
We are to be dreamt in thoughts just, besides, at least of calm as
unexpected a pickup truck beside ourselves a little piece stops and
asks whether he us can take. Made easier we accept and load our bikes,
only to find out later 500 m that we had got now really tail wind!!!
Now all together we let ourselves take 5 km to high on a pass where
we the a little bit taken aback Chileans ask ourselves again to stop;
because we on the loading area sit we simply knock on the roof. Three
nice Chileans can hardly understand that we do not want to be taken
with the storm to San Pedro de Atacama.
|Wonderful mountain world (Chile):
We like the Andes up here in Chile with her many volcanoes,
salt lake, lagoons, moor-like sceneries, Vicuñas and flamingos
incredibly well. If we did not have scarcely limited waters and stocks
of food we would stay here absolutely a little bit longer.
|Long-distance lorry drivers from
Paraguay (Chile): The route about the Paso de Jama is used the
only completely tarred distance over the Andes here in the north and
accordingly relatively strongly by Lkws. However, really many are
not it. Thus are driven new truck by Sao Paulo in Brazil to Peru and
new and used cars from Chile to Paraguay. It is interesting that most
trucks unloaded over the Andes go. On account of the wind we must
often torment ourselves quite a lot and all together 3 long-distance
lorry drivers urge to ask us whether they should take us. To know
very thankfully for the nice gesture, and gladly that there is help
if it really once does not go any more we always decline with thanks.
It is remarkable that all three long-distance lorry drivers from Paraguay
come what only underlines our positive impression about the warmth
of the people in Paraguay.
|Frozen! (Chile): Once again we
have one night with strict frost (absolutely-18°C) and when we in
the morning already before sunrise wake we have a thick ripe layer
everywhere in the inside tent. As soon as one of us the tent walls
catches touched in the tent to be snowing and one is full all over
with white frost. Some white frost has already trickled on our additional
sleeping bag and has melted partially and has frozen partially then
again. Now good advice is expensive. If we wait to the sun comes out
and the white frost melts it catches in the tent to rain and everything
is soaking wet. So I jump in laxly still-18°C in the sleeping suit
shortly before sunrise out of the tent and spread out our whole equipment
on the wall which is, fortunately, directly behind us. Thus we strip
little piece-wise of the complete tent and spread out everything to
the dry one. As the tent blank is Nadine brushes the whole white frost
on the ground and turns him afterwards out. Until we, finally, everything
repacked dryly, and had breakfast have though it lasts a little longer
than commonly, however, 10:30 o'clock we are again on the street,
today, nevertheless, it should go about the last and highest pass.
|Passes, passes, passes (Chile):
Because the route is named over the Andes as a Paso de Jama, we have
assumed, actually, from the fact that this pass given with 4200 m
is the highest one of the whole distance. However, already in Argentina
we might master another of 3 wide pass, in each case more than 4000
m. Then in Chile it became wilder one more number, because there it
goes immediately twice more than 4800 m and once more than 4700 m!
|Long decent (Chile): Then, however,
on the last 50 km it goes from 4800 m in a gigantic long departure
under it up to 2436 m. On the way we stop sometimes, so that our rims
can cool off again, because we have broke them quite hot. Nevertheless,
in principle we want to come only the next morning in San Pedro de
Atacama and thus we whip in the middle on the departure over again
our tent and enjoy the marvelous view of the volcano Licancabur lying
behind us (5916m) and the Atacama lying among us desert.
|San Pedro de Atacama (Chile):
San Pedro de Atacama, once an idyllic oasis, has moulted meanwhile
to the tourist stronghold in the north of Chile. When we in the place
walk in we are inspired by the quiet comfortable village with his
picturesque marketplace and the nice church and can hardly understand
why it should be so tourist here. Nevertheless, this changes all of
a sudden when in the afternoon all tourists return from her tours
of the surrounding places of interest in the Atacama desert. Suddenly
there rules everywhere an active activity and we withdraw into our
Hostel where we meet on very nice tourists from London, California,
Sydney and Santiago de Chile and half a night in blether are.
|Valle de la Luna (Chile): One
of the main tourist attractions of San Pedro de Atacama is the so-called
Valle de la Luna, the valley of the moon. The Valle de la
Luna owes his name to the wind and the rain which have created
here an amusing lunar landscape. The Valle de la Luna at sundown
is especially impressive, however, to explore it in complete silence
one needs absolutely some hours.
|Valle de la Muerte (Chile): The
"valley of the death" directly before the gates of San Pedro de Atacama.
|Easily downhill to Calama (Chile):
From San Pedro we further want in 100 km lain Calama. Because the
Tourist information is closed the last both days we enquire in the
travel agency, the tours to the surrounding places of interest organized
after the street." It goes constantly only downhill" we agree as an
answer to the question whether the distance would be very mountainous.
From the answer completely persuaded I do not stick over again after
while I to the young man explains that on the map lying before him,
however, some height lines were marked what would probably point to
mountains. Now he asks his colleague over again, and together they
assure us that it went though at the beginning small a little uphill,
however, then constantly downhill. This would be evident, because
Calama would lie 200 metre height deeper. We remain sceptical and
fill in for safety's sake rather all our water bottles, because we
are, at least, in the Atacama desert. Then directly behind San Pedro
it goes already immediately uphill and 200 metres height we could
master one well and with pleasure as the "small increase" evaluate.
Nevertheless, unfortunately it goes on the other side directly again
down in the valley only around then really high of going to the mountains.
For the "small increase following now" we need the rest of the day,
and at sundown we find ourselves after 40 cycled kilometres and 1150
m of increase on a pass situated on about 3300 m. But then the next
day it goes really only downhill to Calama.
|Copper mine (Chile): Before the
gates of Calama lies Chuquicamata, the biggest open copper mine of
the world. The gigantic pit is 4 km long, 2 km wide and 730 m deep
(2005). Suitably to these gigantic dimensions the 3.5-m-high wheels
of the trucks are the 310-t-loads carry. 8000 workers produces so
yearly 600000 t of copper. The mine is the world-biggest supplier
of copper and gained in 2003 17% of the whole Chilean export income!
The copper mine is there where one the cloud of smoke can recognise.
|Atacama desert (Chile): The Atacama
desert is one of the driest places of the world and at some places
rain was never still registered. On the way from Calama we meet all
at once quite many travellers who are in the middle on the way in
the desert to a Christian festival to honour of the virgin of Ayquina.
|Volcano scenery (Chile): By the
Atacamawüste and past wonderful volcanoes the beginning still screws
to themselves tarred street of Clama further high in the Andes to
|Railway line to Bolivia (Chile):
The distance to Bolivia runs more or less in parallel with a railway
line Chile and Bolivia connects. The railway line has built Chile
as a compensation on Bolivia for in the Pazific war in 19. Century
to taken areas in the Atacama dessert. At that time thus Bolivia has
lost not only his access to the Pacific, but also all mines which
found today the wealth of Chile.
|Salar de Ascotan (Chile): After
we wanted to have reached the highest point on the way to Bolivia
we with the gendarmerie again our stores of water with only 3966 m
fill in. Because the drinking water should be here, nevertheless,
an arsenic-contaminated we get as a gift from the nice gendarmes 2
bottles of mineral water. Now it goes down on the big Salar de Ascotan
on which still some salts (according to Jorge Borax) are diminished.
We cycle partially in the middle, or by the Salar, however, thus long
we, nevertheless, exactly do not know it to ourselves by around what
the stuff acts we try to avoid every direct contact. Nice is to be
looked of the Salar, however, always.
|More Vicuñas (Chile): Now up
here on the Salares we see, actually, constantly Vicuñas which prosper
to itself apparently from the scanty plants (presumably mosses and
lichens) here on the salt lakes nourish. Mostly the Vicuñas have no
fear of us and observe only curiously the funny people with so
strange things (bicycles) move. The people ordinarily have, nevertheless,
jeeps, coaches or trucks
|Ollagüe (Chile): Our last place
in Chile is called Ollagüe and is the small border place and railway
station up here in the middle of the scanty high mountain desert on
3690 m. Here the people are incredibly kind, friendly and in a good
mood and thus we spend with joy our last Chilean peso before we further
to Bolivia cycle.
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