March 14th, 2006: Oruro, Bolivia to Arica, Chile
From Oruro we made the last stretch of road towards Chile. There wasn't a heck of a lot on the way aside from a few small villages. We actually made one very long stretch assuming there would be gas stations along the way and came dangerously close to running out of gas. At 365km we stopped at a house to see if they knew were we could buy some gas and they told us that they would be willing to sell us some. We really lucked out that time!! We drove a little more and made it to the Bolivian border. It was the smallest frontera we've been to yet. There was only one small building for immigration and the customs building was one of those yellow school portables with a hand painted sign on it. From that crossing you drive through a neutral zone for a few kilometers before coming to the Chilean border. The scenery around the border was just gorgeous! There were snow capped volcanos reaching more than 6000 meters high with the desert scrubland at the base. Then, infront of the snow capped mountains there was a large lagoona with flamingos wading in the water, believe it or not!! We were pretty surprised to see desert, snow and flamingos all in one view! For most of the drive toward Arica you drive from cyan to azule blue. After that you must cross over the Andes to get towards the coast, where the drive becomes a bit more difficult. It is very cold high up in the mountains and in this area we actually were so high up at points that the bikes were faltering slightly. It was very foggy, and actually got so cold at one point I ended up putting a pair of previously worn socks over my motorcycle boots in an attempt to keep my toes warm. My dad got a good laugh out of that one of course!!!