Chile Coast and Desert – another Highlight
We headed out on Highway 5 in partly cloudy, windless conditions, a flat and a puncture before lunch could not marr the day. We had the sparkling azure waters of the Pacific on the left and varying desert/mountainous terrain on the right, undulating hills, nothing too strenuous and small seaside villages dotting the coastline! As the sky cleared and the wind was on our backs, the day was just getting better, a rest stop had the bonus of seals and pelicans sighting, and then we entered Parque National Pan de Azucar. Absolutely stunning beaches, deserted and unspoilt, and a quiet road winding along the coastline affording panoramic views at every stretch! We were camping on the beach at Piqueros campsite, enjoyed walking and stretching on the beach, and delicious salmon for dinner. Stunning sunset and sound of the waves to fall asleep too. Peaceful and momentous….our half way mark….I couldnt think of a better place to celebrate or rather reflect on reaching an important milestone!
We had a further day riding through the Parque, with mesmerising desert mountainous scenery, heading inland and into a headwind…onto Highway 5 and a 10km climb…tough but still feeling energised. After 65km on highway, we turned back to the coast, downhill through a canyon with ocean breeze cooling our faces, and then a spectacular "bush" beach camp!
It was time for a break from the spectacular Chilean coastline and time for some desert, which meant a tough 25km climb up and over the coastal mountain range….dusty day with the road mainly under construction, and once the ocean mist had cleared, a stifling hot day. I stopped after lunch – a wise decision as once the climb was over, the wind turned into a headwind all the way to camp. The desert camp was amazing, once the wind died down around 5pm, we enjoyed a delicious asada (bbq) and then spectacular full moon rising!