Today we get the final installment of The Guardian’s piece on motorcycling through the Andes from Chile to Argentina. Intrepid traveler Mike Carter continues his journey through the high peaks of South America, and follows in the footsteps of Che Guevara, perhaps the most famous South American motorcycle tourist ever.
In part 1 Mike rode his bike through the Atacama Desert, experiencing true solitude along the way. Part 2 took him to the salt flats of that region and continued on into the High Andes, drinking in the stunning views along the way. Part 3 has him topping out on those mountains and crossing into Argentina at last, where he not only enjoys a proper cup of coffee, but has the opportunity to take in the gaucho lifestyle the country is famous for.
A ride through the Valley of the Butterflies is briefly described, giving you the impression that it must be a lot like riding a motorcycle through a Disney animated film. Mike describes it like this: “We rode along the Valley of the Butterflies, millions of them forming fluttering clouds that we passed through, like riding in a kaleidoscope.” Those few words can evoke a lot imagery in your imagination.
As with all good things, this journey must come to an end, and for Mike it ends in at Che’s childhood home. From there he relinquishes his motorcycle and prepares to head home, but not before he realizes what a great trip it has been and just how good travel is for the soul.
The three part series will definitely have you wanting to buy a bike of your own and head to South America. It sounds like a perfect way to travel and to see region.
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