05.12.2012 - 17.12.2012 22 °C
Arriving at the border way past their opening hour the migration and customs official were ready to help but the dude from the agricultural check proved uncooperative and suggested I should sleep in my car in this no man's land until the next morning. But I was finally allowed me to enter Chile by foot, so I could get to know the border town of Ollagüe at 11pm with a pack of stray dogs in tow and learn that the twon's three Bed & Breakfasts were full. I ended up talking with a nice lady, whose introduction to her place was “yes, we have an extra room, but you probably won’t like it”. A bed was all I needed, and at this point the blood stains on the sheets did not concern me. The next morning I was at the dot of the opening hour at the border to learn that electricity was down and that they were planning to open an hour late. Chatted with the nice customs official, had a good breakfast and finally got the paperwork to drive by beautiful lagoons on a dirt road to Calama, where my first quest was to find some new tires and get alineación y balanceo para la bestia negra con tecnología Chilena. A nice drive to San Pedro de Atacama followed, where I chilled in their cool restaurants and bars. The next three days were full-on driving; first through the salt flats and mining areas to Antofagasta and then along the coast and Valle del Elqui to La Serena with some stops at surf spots arriving in Santiago for a very nice evening out with Elena. At the crack of dawn of Sunday I picked up the copilot for the last part of the trek, Stefan. After exploring some of Santiago together, the decadence was in full swing in the wine region of Colchagua, were we duly stocked up on some nice bottles and made our way to the hippie-surfer town of Pichilemu. After a fun weekend we left in direction to Patagonia, with a highlight at Frutillar – Germany in the 50s in Chile – wow.
Here are the pictures.