17-Jan-2008 -- This is the eighth confluence that we visited during our trip to Peru, Bolivia and Chile (see map). The story starts from 12°S 77°W.
We started at 6:20 a.m. in the city of Antofagasta, capital of the Región de Antofagasta 50 km beeline north-west from the confluence. We hit the road without having breakfast and still in darkness. After driving on the Pan-American Highway for about 60 km we turned eastwards on the unsealed road B-55 and followed it for another 30 km. We parked our rental car at a distance of 9.7 km from the confluence. Elionora preferred to stay in the car, so I opted for a quick and lightweight half-marathon to the confluence and back.
8:22 a.m.: Just equipped with GPS device and camera I start running. The area is covered with a lot of boulders. The run is always slightly upwards; altogether I have to climb 300 m in height.
9:26 a.m.: I have reached the confluence which is in the bottom of a little depression. To my surprise I find tracks from a car. Obviously I am not the first to visit that confluence. Probably the previous visitors have not been aware of the confluence.org website. These tracks may be very old already. Tire tracks do not decay for years, if not for centuries here. Therefore I consider off-road driving in this absolutely arid area as environmentally harmful, even if there are no plants or Nazca-lines to destroy.
10:22 a.m.: I am back to the car from my pleasant run before the heat of the day even started. We continue our drive towards Estación Aguas Blancas in order to hit the Pan-American Highway directly further south. But the road ends at a gate to a mine without possibility to pass. We have to drive all the way back that we came and around 11:30 we are back on the highway.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 22 km
- Distance to a road: 10.2 km
- Distance to a track: 9.7 km
- Distance to houses: 18 km
- Time at the CP: 9:26 a.m.
- Hiking time (distance): 1 hour (9.7 km)
- Measured height: 1366 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 6 m
- Topography: Rolling hills. Slight slope to the south. Mountains ranges can be seen.
- Vegetation: none
- Weather: sunny, 22° C (felt temperature)
- Description of the CP: 50 km south-east from Antofagasta in the middle of a mixed sand, stone and rock desert. Some smoothed boulders in the sand.
- Given Name: The Boulder Run Confluence
Story continues at 25°S 70°W.