The day always arrives on these trips when the brief sojourn of having wives and families along comes to an end, they return to NZ and the real expedition ride resumes. No vans to follow us around any more, no local guides to point out the best routes (although too often they’re completely wrong on that anyway), and no more having to think about much too more than yourself, your bike and your support of the riding group.
Today was the today – the ladies headed off to Calama airport and began their air jouney back to NZ. Suddenly camp seems very quiet – only 5 of us now, not the 10 that has been so much fund for the last 3 weeks. Off to Argentina in the morning and we resume our trek south. No more late starts, into it properly now, on the bikes by 7.30-8 am each day.