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EXHILARATING FREEDOM

IN THE ANDES



ADVENTURES COMBINING
MOUNTAINEERING AND CYCLING




Chris Goulet



What better way to experience the Andes of Argentina, Chile and Bolivia than to weave though them by mountain bike? Chris Goulet not only hauls along three weeks of supplies through remote high passes, but also his entire high-altitude mountaineering gear and reaches the summit of Cerro Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, and solos Nevado Ojos del Salado, the loftiest active volcano on Earth. Unsponsored and without outside support, he cycles on through surreal landscapes in absolute desert and across vast salt flats. More difficulties await in the steaming tropical rainforest.

His unique equipment and techniques allow dreams to unfold. This account takes you though the epic with the emotions of an explorer: fascination, determination, anxiety, and with the bonus of exhilarating freedom.



Chris Goulet has cycled over 80,000 kilometers and climbed in several countries. His thirst for adventure has also taken him on canoeing, kayaking, rafting and even pedalboating expeditions on remote lakes and rivers. His home is in Alberta, Canada where he works as an electric power station operator.



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Contents

Route maps

Powerfully Attractive Projects

Introduction and preparations

Wow!... The Andes

Montreal, Canada-Santiago, Chile

Sea-Level Toe

to Pacific Ocean coast-Valparaiso-Santiago

Cyclo-Andinism

to Puente del Inca, Argentina

The Real McCoy

to Plaza de Mulas base camp-Aconcagua summit-Puente del Inca

Red-Tape Hurdles

to Mendoza-La Rioja-Fiambala

Remote Feelings

across Puna de Atacama to Cazadero Grande-Paso de San Fransico-Hosteria Murray, Chile

Eyes of the Spirited

to Ojos del Salado summit

Fleeting Friendships, Part 1

to Refugio Andino-Hosteria Murray-Copiapo-Antofagasta-San Pedro de Atacama

Fleeting Friendships, Part 2

across Altiplano to Licancabur summit-Laguna Verde, Bolivia-Laguna Colorada-Ollague, Chile

Vast Salar Experiences

across Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia-Salar de Coipasa-Oruro

City Life

to La Paz-La Cumbre de Yungas

Sticky Rainforest Memories

to Caranavi-Guanay-Mapiri-Consata

The Long Way Home

to Sorata-La Paz-Santiago, Chile-Montreal, Canada

The Explorer-Adventurers

Reflections on explorers and adventurers

Appendix: The Equipment

References



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Guestbook

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Acknowledgments

Although this expedition was entirely unsupported and unsponsored, I still must thank the citizens of the world past and present for having invented, developed, produced and distributed all the equipment, supplies and services that made it possible.

For the composing of this book, I thank John Adanasoff in particular for his major role in the development of the computer, which evolved to the capability to run sophisticated word processors with spelling checking, thesaurus and grammar checking.

Most of all, I am deeply grateful to the Sacred Creator for having granted me a very fit body allowing the freedom of self-propulsion. Thank You also for having set the physical laws so that nature could achieve the very natural wonders that were the main object of these travels. I urge my readers to preserve this planet, by promoting limits to human population and consumption of resources.



Copyright 1996-2005 by Christian Goulet

Questions, comments, corrections, and additions are welcome. Please sign the guestbook or e-mail me in French or English at: chris_goulet at yahoo dot ca. (e-mail address is anti-spammed).



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