FLIGHT TO CALAMA
Next destination: Atacama dessert. Hot and dry. U can choose if the wind blows off your skin or the sun burns it down. :)
The landskape is amazing. After the bus trip from Argentina was naivly thought that nothing can stop me breathing…
But this place… with the salt flat of Atacama and the Valle de la Luna… red rocks and sand everywhere.
And at night?¿ Probably u can see more stars in the sky then ever in your life (thanks for the lack of city lights).
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
Very tiny village hiding between the rocks (u would never guess that more than 4000 people live here). Small flat cube-houses Star Wars style – must look like on the old times.
From a bit far it seems that nothing is here,like absolutely nothing. U can see a bit of green around, a couple of trees and bushes but its still just a dessert.
But lets enter the village… like in the movies. U realize only one strange thing: white and/or tall and/or asian people with expensive sunglasses walking around.
After this u will see almost on every second building: HOSTAL. But still: everything suits to the environment. They kept everything real. Just added some wi-fi. :)
Our hostal is: Sonchak a part of a project about natural energy sources so here u have limited chargeing options and hot water just from the afternoon when the sun was shining enough to warm it up.
I think its a very good and important part of the sustainable turism (especially in the middle of a dessert). I like it a lot, a lot.
We rented a car here as well – the distancies are quite big between the turistical points and the sun just burning all the time. BUT: the infrastucture here is surprisingly good – so u can rent a bike if u dont have a car and u are crazy enough to bike in these dusty-sandy roads.
There are stops and bathrooms on the side of the road and SIGNS EVERYWHERE. Here yes, on the contrary: SIGNS IN EVERY 200 METERS (even if there is just one road) and let u know about the interesting sights.
SALAR DE ATACAMA
A blindingly white salt flat surrounded by more than 50 vulcanoes (most of them are active), lakes with “romantic” pink flamingoes and rocks as far as u can see.
It all covered with NaCl and white like the first fresh snow… yeah, obviously we licked the stones. No trick.
VALLE DE LA LUNA
The valley of the Moon… they call it like this cause this place is definitely looks like the Moon, as we would guess at least. No more comments needed here, it did catch my breath away several times.
Absolutely unbelievable. Enjoy the photos…
Couple of ruins around the city are worth to visit, like Pukara de Quitor or Lasana . Dont expect too much – if u dont like ancient history or trecking and climbing hills.
We visited EL TATIO in Northern part of Chile – its one of the highest elevation field full of active and inactive geysers. It name means “owen” in Quechua and the individual geysers have got funny names as well like Concha (seashell), Llama , Horno (owen) or Asesino (killer). U can find some pink flamingos and a termal bath.
The tour and our guide was really good, the price is 15.000 peso plus 5.000 to enter and it covered a half day. Unfortunately we started at 5.00am – and when i say “we” i mean the whole San Pedro de Atacama. So like 100 people with different companies were going up to 4500meters and disturbing each other while taking photos. It was kindof annoying. So my advice – if u have a car (roads are bad but not that sh*t) try to go a bit later and avoid the mass. Maybe u will see less steam as the temperatura rising but more of the actual activity of a geyser. Its like a preassure cooker in a vulcan. Really cool.
After spending 4 days here in the dessert we are heading to Bolivia with an organised tour – which takes 3 days and we cross the Uyuni Salt Lake.
Be careful with your money here – we did not prepaired ourself that appearantly no cash machine accepts our card (Gabors).
However in most of the hostels u can pay by card and lot of the tour offices accepts dollar or chilean…
Still hard to get cash in hand. Restaurants dont like card neither. Better if u get enough money from the airport and hide it in your underwear.
See u in Bolivia…