San Pedro. Dry.

San Pedro de Atacama Travel Blog

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Arriving in San Pedro de Atacama was a bit of an effort. After two days pent up in a car, we had to wait for about an hour (not too long - im just whinging), for chilean immigration.

But the town is good... a little tourist haven just north of the atacama desert. Its at 2200m, so the climate is great... good enough to for me to get sunburnt. It did blow me away the difference between bolivia and here... yet they are so close. The people are no longer indigenous, and the food is a whole lot more western. Vegetables!! for the first time... since i dont know when. It has a feel about it similar to home, or europe... but it is still south america, and you drink your water out of a bottle, not the tap.

I met up with a couple other guys, and we hired mountain bikes for the day, and headed to the valle del muerto.
.. an eerie landscape of eroded rock and sand. The sand made riding a little challenging, but it was well worth it. We also checked out a local swimming pool, which was more like water tank, rather than a pool... but popular.

I also checked out the valley of the moon... via bicycle. At first, I unknowingly rode through the valley, marvelling at the scenery. So I had to return back through, this time, checking the map for the `features`. I also did a little walk through a neat canyon, then up into a salt cave. I thought the walk would be very straight forward... but when the salt cave got dark, things got interesting. The only light I had was the ipod... which was grossly innapropiate. Fumbling my way through the dark was interesting, but I made it through the cave.

the return path wasnt so clearly marked, and I got the feeling the return path was supposed to be the cave, but I wasnt going to face it again without a light. So I headed back the way I thought was correct.... but wasnt. I spent the next two hours profoundly lost in an intricate maze of narrow salt crevices, salt formations, and mountains. The only way I found my way 500m back to the road was climbing a big mountain... where i realised I was way off course.

my next entry will be from the other end of the continent... im headed to patagonia! travelling on my first plane in 9 months! i feel like its cheating, but i need to get there quick...

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