Atacama desert, Salt plains of Uyuni
San Pedro de Atacama Travel Blog› entry 33 of 35 › view all entries
We bussed down to San Pedro de Atacama (unfortunately having a bag nicked on the way.... filled with pressies for our impending trip home...) and found a hostel and took around town. Its an amazing town, an oasis in the middle of the world´s driest desert and built almost entirely in the old adobe hut style. It has been "touristi-fied" but we thought it was still a great place- dusty, dirty streets and lots of interesting things to do.
We hired a bike on our second day there and took a ride around the desert. The scenery is spectacular - Starange red canyons and moon like rocky flat plains. We also took a star gazing tour with a brilliant French guy who talks you through the very basics of astronomy - the constellations and so on. We also took a look through some of his big telescopes, some of which you have to walk up a ladder to get to the eyepiece.
Our next move was to take a tour into Bolivia to the high altitude lakes and the famous "salar" - the worlds largest slat plains. We decided to do it from Chile since I had been sick in Bolivia when we had origionally planned to do the trip.
It was okay. We saw some incredible lakes - they are all strange colours because of the mix of minerals. There is a white, a green and a red lake - and the salt plains are mind blowing - 12 000km sq of brilliant white salt flats - but the actual tour wasnt so great. As well as the driver and the cook there were six of us crammed into the land cruiser, and the (loosely termed) roads were so bumpy it really wasnt pleasant for the 900km drive around.