Catching my Breath
San Pedro de Atacama Travel Blog› entry 83 of 98 › view all entries
My throat felt like it had been sandpapered by the dryness of the high altitude air and I was thoroughly exhausted from the three day jeep journey through Bolivia. I was dumped at a hut in the middle of the desert with a Bolivian flag, oh I guess this is the border then. Didn’t really have a clue where to go, there were several minibuses but as far as I understood from my pigeon Spanish, none of them were heading in the direction of Chile. So I wandered with my bags across to where there were a few people waiting randomly and this is where I first met Jurgen and Sandra from the Netherlands who were heading the same way as me and knew which bus to catch thank god.
So we bundled into this minivan, filled out our immigration documents for Chile, then we drove down down down, dropping an altitude of around 2000 metres in about an hour all the way down to the Chilean border.
The lower altitude also brought much appreciated heat, maybe a bit too much heat. A wall of dry, intense heat hit me as I got out the minibus into the cute Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama. This place, nestled in the Atacama desert surrounded by volcanoes , mountains and sand dunes is seriously in the middle of nowhere, which is why so many travellers end up having to stay here on their way through from Bolivia or Argentina. It is pretty much overrun with tourists, travel agents and smart tourist-friendly restaurants but is still a very pretty place and the locals here extremely welcoming. I would have loved to have gone out for more exploring in the desert but my throat was still on fire and i didn’t feel like doing anything. I spent a few days here exploring the charms of the town, booking my onward journey to Argentina and relaxing at my hostel.