I love it when things work out!
San Pedro de Atacama Travel Blog› entry 3 of 20 › view all entries
Yesterday was more or less a travel day, and I was a bit disappointed I didn't get to see any of Arica. But time is not always on your side when you're traveling on-the-cheap.
I took a bus with a company called Tur-Bus from Arica to San Pedro de Atacama last night. That made two overnight busses in two nights. Thankfully, this bus was breeze. Although not quite as nice a bus as the night before, the temperature on the bus was much better. I think I was tired enough to sleep no matter what this situation, so that likely helped. Even after the cursory stop at a drug checkpoint at 1:00am, I got right back to sleep without any problem.
San Pedro de Atacama is right in the middle of the Atacama Desert, but is centered around a green oasis in a small valley at 2,438 metres above sea level. It's a town of only 5,000 people, but it is very well known on the tourist track. Because of that there are many hotel choices, which is good. But also because of that, it is a bit overpriced and touristy compared to the rest of Chile. But, I felt like I had to at least get a room with a private bathroom after two nights on a bus.
This afternoon I picked up a tour to the Valle de Luna and the Valle de la Muerte (Valleys of the moon and death). The whole area around San Pedro is volcanic in origin, and Volcan Lincancabur (5,500 metres, 18,000+ feet) towers over the oasis.
The whole experience certainly has me in one of those contemplative moods.
I'm only spending one night here in San Pedro, and tomorrow's bus over the Andes to Salta, Argentina leaves at 11:00am. That bus will take about 13 hours, and arrive after midnight in Salta. Then it's off to wine country! I am also looking forward to my first comfy night of sleep here in South America! Wish me luck.