Northern Chile

The Desert Hand. We were driving into Antofagasta and we saw these fingerlike projections in the distance with a tourist bus parked next to it. When you see that you have to investigate. So this is actually quite a famous sculpture. You can see me trying my best to stretch my legs so that they are long enough that I can ride the bike myself. Still have a lot of stretching to do……..

So north we are headed and the landscape just seems to change dramatically every time we take a turn in the road.

Northern Chile is mostly desert and is known for mining.

Driving in the desert

About 100 years ago nitrate mining was very important here until someone in Europe managed to manufacture it synthetically. This has left a number of nitrate ghost towns dotted along the sides of the roads. Copper is another huge industry here and a small town called Calama has got the largest open copper mine in the world. We tried to do a tour but unfortunately got to the gate of the mine only to be turned away.

The industry is very visible with big pipelines being laid along the sides of the roads and lots of large trucks on the road. When one is not seeing this the scenery has a stark beauty about it. Again totally different from what we have been seeing previously.

Sunset on the road with the Andes mountain range on the right

At times we have been riding in the middle of the desert with the snow-capped Andes to our right and then a few kilometres later we are riding along the coast with barren little seaside villages dotted along the coast.

The misty north coast of Chile with the sea on the left. Very eerie.

I hope these pictures do the scenery justice.

Our next big stop is the Atacama desert which is in northern Chile and is the driest desert in the world. Andy will be writing a post about this soon….

Categories: Diary | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Northern Chile

  1. nvanesch

    Agree a bit like Namibia. What a trip. Brett and Moo are also having an “exciting time” with the local police đŸ™‚

    Michael, Claudia and Nick

    • Andrew

      Great to hear from you guys! I take it all is well? Thanks for the comments. Sounds like B and Moo are nearing their final destination! Any ideas roughly when they will hit SA?

  2. Alex Cluver

    great pics – looks a bit like Namibia (well the desert parts anyway)! Keep enjoying – only 1 month till you come back!

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