Country No. 4

San Pedro de Atacama Travel Blog

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Didn´t last long in Bolivia, I left La Paz on an overnight bus to Uyuni to start the Salt Plain tour. It was an interesting journey because the road deteriorated to a bumpy dirt tracj half way through the night and there was only one blanket per 2 seats. Mine was stolen by the guy behind me but the Bolivian guy next to me fought for it back and we snuggled up for the night!

I spent 3 days in a 4x4 with 3 Austrians, a swiss and a scot. It was very cosy in the 4x4 with the driver and the cook. We visited the train graveyard first of all which is just a load of trains abandoned in the middle of nowhere (Jeremy, I took a picture especially for you!) then we drove onto the salt flats, miles and miles of white stuff. We visited an island in the middle, full of cactuses, for a 360 degree view of the salt plains, blinding.

Its not snow, its salt!
Then we had a long bumpy drive to our first nights accommodation, with a family in the middle of nowhere. The itinery said dinner and sleep, which is pretty much what we did.

The next day was even longer in the 4x4, it was certainly cosy. We visited several lagoons but the highlight was seeing the flamingoes on a couple of them. We got to see them quite close up and there were loads of them, beautiful birds. We stopped at Laguna Colorada for the night, all 6 of us were in the same room, good job that we got on well! It was a really basic place, so again it was dinner and sleep, especially as we had to get up at 4.30am to see the geysers.

We drove as the sun was rising and reached the stinky geysers at about 6am. They are fascinating, although very smelly. It was bitterly cold so we were glad to move onto the thermal waters of a lagoon nearby. Some people braved it and went in in bathers, I could only face sticking my legs in because it wa too cold to get changed afterwards. The landscape on the drive changed all the time, but for me it was too long in the 4x4, I was glad the journey had a purpose, in getting us to the border of Chile as well, it mad it more worth while.

The border crossing was a small shack in the middle of no where, we transfered to a bus and crossed the border into Chile. I was instantly happier, it was boiling hot and it feels like I´ve reached civilisation, you instantly notice how much more westernised Chile is, just by the roads and signs, simple things like that. Hard to explain really. In San Pedro I bumped into the Coverack lads again, they´re off to New Zealand now.

I stayed in a lovely hostel in San Pedro, very chilled out with Hammocks, perfect for the shorts and T shirt weather. I took a tour to the valley of the moon, and walked through the canyon before watching the sunset over the sand dunes. I also did an achaelogical tour but it wasn´t that great, I probabaly overdosed on that kind of thing in Peru, where it was far more interesting. I could have easily stayed in San Pedro and seen more Geysers and Flamingoes but I decided to get the overnight bus to Santiago and here I am, after a very comfortable 24 bus journey. Yet another fabulous hostel, just need to decide where I go from here.

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Its not snow, its salt!
Its not snow, its salt!
San Pedro de Atacama
photo by: eefab