Meanwhile almost all of us are back home now. It'll take some time to adapt again to this time zone but what will stay in our minds are the amazing pictures and the experiences we made on this Adventure Altiplano.
You were a fantastic group of people and it was a great pleasure getting to know all of you and riding with you! Thanks a lot for the wonderful time which I enjoyed to the full.
All the best for you and I am looking forward to staying in touch.
From Potosi we make our way further down south towards Tarija, our last station in Bolivia.
And our ride the next morning leads us along a river that forms the border to Argentinia.
These are Bill...
...Ian and Anne...
...and Olof, enjoying the winding road that is meandering along with the river.
The border from Bolivia to Argentinia is announced by this bridge, of which each half is painted with the respective national colours.
A "lucky butterfly" on Leo's bike
In the evening, Salta was awaiting us with the appropriate refreshment
Salta is a city in Argentina that, with it's colonial style buildings, reminds you of the Spaniards who had big influence over the country hundreds of years ago.
On our rest day here, we took the opportunity to really rest, strolling through the city.
Some of us visited the Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña which reveals most interesting information about the people who used to live up there under very hard living conditions.
In the evening we met again for dinner. Hard to guess what the majority chose to eat, you think? It's obvious, isn't it? In Argentinia you have to have a steak! The question is just which style... Our Austrian-German team negotiating with the waiter The short ride from Salta to Purmamarca on the following day revealed a very lonesome road section including curves which were so narrow that you were tempted to think you are in the Alps
This excited Llama we met on our walk through the village of Purmamarca
The highlight of Purmamarca is the Cerro de siete Colores.
The 400 kilometres to San Pedro de Atacama didn't appear very long to us. The fascinating landscape made time flying by.
Vulcanic mountains near San Pedro de Atacama
A desert fox crossing our paths
On our rest day in San Pedro, we enjoyed the famous Valle de la Luna in the afternoon.
Some of us also took the journey up to the Tatio Geysers.
Hard to believe, but today is the last day of our incredible Adventure Altiplano...
A last foto of the Valle de la Luna in the morning and then we are on our way to Antofagasta, our final destination.
It is already day 4 of our Adventure Altiplano Tour! So it is about time to give you the latest update...
We are currently in La Paz, Bolivia and so far have enjoyed some wonderful rides to amazing places. Our group exists of really good riders all hungry to ride.
And most important - we always have a jolly good laugh
Petra from Germany is looking forward to the adventures of the tour. In a couple of minutes we will start our engines...
And here she sits on the bike with her husband Jörg.
Behind them are Klaus, also from Germany, Gion from Switzerland, Lise and Leo from Austria...
...and Guy from Israel with his best friend Heinz from Germany
Ian & Anne and Peter from England and Bill from Canada are just waiting to engage first gear
Arica's predominant rock "El Morro" was a tune-in for us to our bikes.
Getting to know each other
Already the first climb up to about 700 m offers amazing views plus already promising more sunshine and clear skies than in Arica.
Jörg is enjoying the view - but he doesn't know yet what is waiting for him...
Gion is excited about the trip and enjoys every second of it.
Like everybody on tour Ian and Anne are surprised by the stunning landscape that they find only after the first couple of kilometres.
Jörg on his 1200 GS - still unaware of the surprise...
This is Alexis, the owner of the cosy little street café, archeological, and what not else at the side of the road that takes us to Putre. He has prepared his homemade bread especially for us. Yummy yummy!
So here comes the surprise...
On his way to the tour, Jörg has celebrated his birthday. Most likely one of the longest birthdays you can ever have... 6 more hours or so on the plane!
So we found it only appropriate to celebrate with a huge birthday cake in high altitude (more than 3600 m)
Gion found this place just fabulous
We only turned away our faces once and quickly realised that we had 3 more guests to the birthday party... Guy in his element... which is relaxing and enjoying
Lise, our powerful female rider on tour!
The first mountains of the Altiplano already within sight. The snow-covered summits tell us that it might be a little cooler up there...
...Leo found a great spot to take pictures
Here is the whole bunch including our mechanic Victor. Putre is just within reach
Looking from the distance you would't expect such a lovely hotel.
At the end of the day the most hungry riders went out again for a short loop to the hot springs in the vicinity
What a fantastic place that was!
We couldn't believe it - bathing in pleasantly hot water on 4000 m altitude! How often can you do this?
Early next morning we bid farewell again to Putre and were steering our bikes onto the road to Bolivia.
Actually, the challenge was not so much the road construction but the temperatures... lowest low was -11 °C.
But this didn't do any harm to us, because the side effects of it are absolutely clear skies and clean air.
The rising sun is promising a beautiful day
Some of the highest volcanoes on earth
Exiting Chile and entering Bolivia requires a little bit of paperwork... To make sure you get it all right they provide a paper to collect stamps in the right order. Will we ever get the 6th stamp...? Yes, you're right Guy! This is the best way to wait at the boarder
Finally, we made it! Bolivia is waiting for us!
Ancient tombs on the way to La Paz
The traffic into La Paz wasn't too bad.
One beautiful day after another...
The first day took us to the 'Ruta de la Muerte' east of La Paz. It was probably the most stunning road I have ever been riding on!
Just look at the pictures...
There is never a foto stop too much, it seems.
Bill - very proud of himself
Like everybody in the group, Peter is enjoying the road to the full
Olof from South Africa - at least as proud as Bill
Victor, our magic mechanic. Probably the best in the world!
Not only did we have to go back and forth between altitudes of 1000-4000 metres on this road of death but the weather was also changing from cool to very warm and back to pretty cold and foggy.
Even if this does not sound like the ideal weather to ride a bike, the weather is merely secondary. The scenery is so breathtaking that you even don't think about the temperatures.
The obligatory drink in high altitudes - Mate de Coca. Prost, Klaus
On the second day in La Paz Lake Titicaca and the village of Copacabana were our goal. Once we've had left La Paz city traffic behind us we came across a farmer's market in one of the smaller villages.
A relaxing experience to just sit at the side of the road, mingle with locals and getting involved in a little chat here and there...
One of the highlights of the day was the ferry ride to the other side of one of Lake Titicaca's arms.
Copacabana - the famous district/beach of Rio de Janeiro was named after this village. This Copacabana (3800 m), however, is not only a tourist attraction but also a famous place for pilgrims.
A change of riders...? These two boys were having a blast sitting on this cool motorcycle
After a wonderful riding day we went back into the "bowl" of La Paz
We found a great spot to overlook the whole city of La Paz
On the next morning we left pretty early in order to manage the mileage of our longest riding day.
Travelling is a good teacher - very often you find out that people in other countries, in many ways, are the same or do the same things, even if they are completely different... sometimes just in a less wealthy or modern way.
Just like this boy with his squeaky three wheeler
Potosi was our station for the night before we reached another highlight in Bolivia - one of the most wanted ones... The Salar de Uyuni.
Already the view from the distance promises a unique experience!
The world's biggest salt lake is one of the starting points for the Dakar race
Words cannot describe how you feel letting your bike run over a salt highway of a seemingly endless width and length.
Somewhere in the middle of the salt lake there is the Cactus Island.
Some of the cactuses are up to 10 metres high and reach an age of almost 300 years!
What a day!
It goes without saying that we spend the night in a hotel that is completely made out of salt
Before we turn our bikes back onto the road to Potosi we parked them outside Uyuni and walked to the famous 'cementerio de trenes' outside the town.
Our rest day in Potosi was supposed to be a real rest day The bikes stayed in the garage and some of us were courageous enough to visit the famous silver mines of Potosi.
Very fashionable, don't you think?
To support the local miners, you can buy something they can use in their daily mining business - coca leaves, lemonade, trousers, etc.
On top, we added a couple of dynamite bars they use for their mining explosions...
Quite a different shopping experience
A cordial buenas dias from South America to you chicas y chicos out there!
Ahead of the Adventure Altiplano Edelweiss Tour I flew into Arica, Chile, to explore the countries of the tour Chile, Bolivia and Argentinia myself.
And what I've seen up to now, I found so much worthwhile that I didn't want to hold back from your eyes...
So here is an "ahead-of-tour-appetizer-blog" for you (which will, of course, be fed with more pics druing the tour)
Although quite chilly at times, there are amazing landscapes to be seen in altitudes above 4000 m (13,000 ft). I didn't expect it to be so stunningly beautiful up there!
I am already excited to the actual tour start on the 23.08.15 and can't wait to ride these roads again with you guys.
So don't forget your warm layers, I am very much looking forward to meeting you in Arica soon
Greetings from currently Bolivia-Argentinia,
your tour guide Angela
Arica, the tour start destination of the Adventure Altiplano Tour.
This is the direction to go!
The statue up on Arica's main hill "Morro de Arica"
A distinct affection for the brand...
On the way up to higher levels...
no comment on this stop... you can look forward to an enjoyable rest stop here ...
...which we will do to slowly get adapted to the altitude.
It is really interesting that, while riding, you don't realise how fast you are actually climbing
Putre is the last village before the Bolivian border. And besides, a good place to stay and get adapted to the altitude which is already about 3650 m (11,975 ft)! Quite a climb from see level, isn't it?
The highest point of the pass road is about 4.700 m (15,255 ft). It doesn't look spectacular talking about the highest mountains in Chile-Bolivia here, but given the altitude we are riding in it is quite a thing!
The tops of the mountains around La Paz are still covered in snow
No worries, this is no ice! The road is just wet
It feels absolutely great to be up here!
La Paz from the distance - all the snow is gone again
La Paz lies neatly snuggled in a bowl, surrounded by mountains
Impressions of a Bolivian big city
I happened to bump into a music and dance street band
The beat of the sound makes you want to hop along Out on the road again this is what can be called Bolivian marking for tight curves
Hmm... what is it that may come next here... Having been the only motorcycle on the road for 6 days now, I was positively surprised to meet those three Bolivian Harley riders in the lower altitudes of Tarija