Dakar 2013 - Part 1 of 3


Blue Haired Freak
OK so there will be some Dakar shots in here (3, to be precise), but mostly this was an awesome trip to Tierra del Fuego and the Atacama High Desert in Chile that Bonnielass took us on (and yes, we did watch the Dakar rally go by on a transfer leg between Calama, Chile and Jujuy, Argentina).

If you feel like you've been robbed already, don't bother reading on. :)

I'll break this into 3 chunks, corresponding roughly to the 3 legs of the trip.

We started (after much flying) in Ushuaia, Argentina (southernmost city on a continental landmass).

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And got on our 136 passenger ship to follow this route:

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Among other things, we rounded Cape Horn (!!!) and visited lovely Wulaia Bay:

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The next morning, cruising Glacier Alley:

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We stopped at Pia Glacier and admired the cool rocks:

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The view from the base of the glacier down the fjord:

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Later that day, we checked out Piloto Glacier from the zodiac boats. A bit "cool"!!

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The day after that, we were in Agostini Sound (off the Beagle Channel). Here's our ship:


At that spot we hiked up to Aguila Glacier. This was amazing. The little colored dots to the lower right are people.

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After the cruise dropped us off in Punta Arenas, Chile, we got a ride to Parque National Torres del Paine. On the way we saw guanacos:

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We went there to do a 4-day trek on the so-called "W" circuit:

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On the 2nd day, we hiked up to this spot, where the Torres themselves are. I have wanted to see this view for myself since the first time I saw a photograph of it years and years ago.

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They really aren't all that tall:

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There was much hiking:

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Blue Haired Freak
Dakar 2013 - Part 2 of 3

When last we saw our intrepid heros, they were hiking in Torres del Paine. They found scenery:

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And at the end of a long hiking day, we found an awesome wood-fired hot tub:

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and some wine (Chile, remember?):

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Two days later, taking a ferry down from Gray's Glacier:

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After *that* we flew 2200 miles north to the Atacama Desert (still in Chile). Altiplanic lagoons, awesome rock formations, geysers, vicunas, flamingos, etc:

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Blue Haired Freak
Dakar 2013 - Part 3 of 3

While in the Atacama High Desert, we stood at the intersection of the Inca Road and the Tropic of Capricorn:

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And visited some out-of-this-world scenery at Valles de Luna (nice place for a sunset!):

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The next day, up at 5am to hike over to where the Dakar folks were going by. It wasn't an offroad leg, so it wasn't quite as exciting as it could have been, but we saw the trucks and the bikes:

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We have lots and lots of pictures of these trucks and bikes - took them hours for all the support vehicles and such to go by. The bike above was of special interest to us because the CT ROCKERS sponsored this guy, and sent him some club stickers to put on his bike (would you beleive the reason Bonnielass took us here was to check up on this fact??). We did indeed spot the stickers, on the fork tube tops:

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From there, back south to Santiago for a day, then a nice wine tasting:

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Time to go home!!!

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TT Racer
Great pics! Thanks for sharing your adventure!

Looks like you guys had a great time and saw some really incredible sights.

Makes me jealous and want to travel some more.



Incredible, awesome pics!!!.. more appreciation for natural wonders from
looking at these photos than 10 years of discovery channel... OUTSTANDING, what
an amazing trip of a lifetime... thanks for bringing back some of it! :headbang2:


Street Tracker
What an awesome adventure, amazing pics and certainly some unforgettable memories. Thanks for posting this.

Question... was this all part of a package or was it planned out piece by piece?



Blue Haired Freak
Z (and everyone else)- My bride and I have a tradition we call MMT (Magical Mystery Tour). Basically, we take turns planning vacations. The non-planner knows NOTHING. Except what sorts of stuff to pack. We work hard on getting to, and through, airports, without knowing where the planes are going or where we are. This trip was the 3rd one. The first one, she took me to Oregon, wine country, sand dunes on the Pacific, Shakespeare plays, salmon fishing, etc. It was great. The 2nd one, I took her to the IOM TT races and then to Scotland. We were on the ground in Edinborough for a couple hours before she knew what country she was in. This latest... it's a long long story but suffice it to say that I didn't know we were getting on a boat to look at glaciers until about 4 hours before we were to embark. And I didn't know we were going on a 4 day trek until about 2 hours ahead of time. And I didn't know we were going to spend 5 days in the high desert until we got there, and didn't know we were there for the Dakar (among many other things) until a couple days ahead. It was fantastic. As to the planning... she did it all - spent more than a year putting it together. Not a package deal at all (except of course for the cruise), just an itinerary that she thought hit what she wanted to hit and fit within (more or less... ok more) the budget.

I cannot recommend this process for couples more highly. An exercise in trust and mutual exploration, it's fantastic. We have only a couple ground rules: 1. No scuba diving - we both like that so much we want to plan those trips together. 2. Has to be place(s) that we've never been before. No "I loved it when I was here in ____" - has to be a brand new experience for both. And it's freaking awesome. She's actually thinking about marketing a package on how to do this. Our fantasy version is one of us takes the other one on a 2 week (or more but that's VERY hard to wrangle) and we get home and the other one says "OK, that was fantastic!! Where were we???"


Glad you like the photos. Just a hobby....

Cheers mates!

-- BlueJ & Bonnielass


What an amazing planet we live on, is it not?
Thank you so much for the MMT....it's as much fun seeing the pics as being there in person....
You two are just.....well....incredible....superlatives don't even cover it...
I'm speechless......


Street Tracker
Wow. VERY cool, indeed. The book "Lois on the Loose" has some fantastic chapters on riding down the length of S. America (North, too). You were in some of the places she wrote about.


When I first glanced at this I saw some great pics and yeah cool holiday big deal but then I read the back story VERY cool. Great idea.


your posts have me thinking
I'm getting close to retirement, my empoyer disagrees, and I'm going somewhere.
I don't know where I'm going (insert comment here) but now I've got the wonderlust