The trip all began with a pick up that was suppose to be at 2:00pm but ended up leaving at 8:00pm heading on our 950km journey from Arica to Antofagasta down the west coast of Chile. After the first night of continuous scares and frights, we headed into the night with a flat wheel. Unknowingly we drove and shredded the tire to beyond repair. Then it was time to change the wheel and look into getting the jack on a flat surface and a wheel spanner. We ended up loosing the fluid in the jack which then became useless and the spanner was bust due to over use. We found help from a passer by and continued through to Iquique. This brought about amazing views and a new wheel for the van.
From Iquique it seemed to be smooth sailing until it was time for the other tire to loose all its bolts and come flying past us at speed. This was found to be a problem as we could only find 3 of the 6 bolts and had to now remove a bolt from the other wheel. Sleeping on the side of the road, the guru Sacha Specker cooked up pasta, smoked muscles and asparagus for the boys and it was a good rest before we headed for Antofagasta and arrived at 10:00am on the Monday. 3 Saffas, 1 Chilean, 3 Wheels, 950km, 3 nights, food and water, and we arrived in Antofagasta in one piece! Thanks to the guru Sacha Spex and quick thinking Michael Ostler for getting us here.
My personal opinion if you are traveling from Arica to Antofagasta, the best way to travel is not through the desert but instead get on a plane and fly there, or take the bus which can be tricky but will be as cheap and way more reliable.