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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Day 564 Sunday November 9, 2014

My last post ended in Lima when I had shipped the bike from Arequipa for repairs. I stayed in Lima for another two weeks departing Sunday October 12 and riding to Nasca for one night then on to Arequipa for a week. From Arequipa I rode to Puno, Peru on Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is a lake in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia. By volume of water, it is the largest lake in South America. While in Puno I inadvertently spilled water onto the keyboard of my laptop and fried it. I left Puno and entered Bolivia and went to La Paz to get a replacement computer, which I did. When I departed La Paz I returned to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and stayed in Copacabana. After five days in Copacabana I reentered Peru and headed for northern Chile. It was a two day ride to Arica, Chile. I stayed three days in Arica where I reunited with Glen Short. Glen is from Australia and we first met in Colombia in April, then we hooked up in Ecuador and Peru before meeting again in Chile. I am now in Pisauga, Chile. Pisauga is a small fishing village on the Pacific coast and this area is a very active seismically. In April of this year the area experienced an 8.2 earthquake. I am in the only hotel in Pisauga with five seismologist, three from France and two Chileans. I plan to depart tomorrow morning and ride to Iquique, about a four hour ride. This northern area of Chile has much interesting history resulting from "The War of the Pacific" (1879-1882), During this war Chile defeated Bolivia and Peru. As a result Chile almost doubled in size, Bolivia was landlocked and Peru lost much of it's southern region.

The name Pisagua comes from the Spanish words "pis" and "agua", roughly translating into "pisswater". Possibly derived from bad-tasting water contaminated with nitric acid.

Pisagua has often been used as a concentration camp for political prisoners. This happened during the rule of Carlos Ibáñez del Campo (for male homosexuals), as well as that of Gabriel González Videla (for communists, anarchists and revolutionaries) and more recently, during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship (for left-wing militants). Many bodies have been found under the waters of the port and several graves have been discovered in Pisagua since the end of Pinochet's military regime. Pisagua is geographically isolated, with the ocean on one side and a big desert on the other.

Four Brazilians I met between Arequipa and Puno.

From my hotel balcony in Arequipa.

From my hotel balcony in Copacabana.

Photos from the ride from Copacabana, Bolivia to Arica, Chile.

Here I am buying gasoline and a man drew a map in the dirt to show me the best route.

Impending dust storm ahead. I have been in worse.

A rail crossing in southern Peru. I stopped to photograph the monuments to the poor souls who tried to cross at the wrong time.

Photos in and around Arica, Chile.

Entering Chile.

A church in Arica designed by Gustave Eiffel, one of three buildings in Arica designed by Eiffel.

The main plaza.

Photos from the lookout above the port.

Photos from the ride from Arica to Pisauga.

Yesterday I walked 45 minutes from Pisuga to where there were many sea lions. I spent two hours just relaxing and watching these seals.

This big guy made two bounds toward me showing me his teeth, alerting me that I was close enough...I took his word for it.

A few shots of Pisauga.

Tomorrow I plan to ride to Iquique.

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