Thursday, 25 April 2013

Stunning Scenery of San Pedro, Atacama Desert

We stayed 3 nights in San Pedro and  most of those nights were filled with tours out into the desert. Our first tour involved going to Moon Valley and Death Valley. These dry and rocky terrain remind people of terrains of other planets so the name is apt. Honestly, I thought it was kind of boring.Nothing moves here. It´s just sand, salt and rock. But looking back on the photos, some of the landscape shots were pretty amazing.

The most impressive tour I found was the one to Cejar Lagoon which has so much salt in it that it is impossible to drown. It's an odd feeling when you first get in becaue your body feels off balance, just too light.  You're not supposed to put your head underwater because the water would really sting your eyes but then of course we got a group of hooligans who were diving into the water and the funniest part was when a Zach Galifianakis looking guy jumped right in and had appeared to swallow a lot of the water so when he emerged he was drooling like a rabid dog and gasping for air. He was also yelling "IT´S SO SALTY!". Oh dear. We also went to a fresh water lagooon and some small salt flats which were ok but nothing compared to the Bolivian ones.

Kevin showing off his moves.

Kevin doing a Marilyn.
A trip to the geysers meant a 4am wake up and -10 degree temperatures. Even with four warm layers on we felt it. Oh how we felt it. It was the coldest I had ever been, even going to the snow wasn't as cold as this. So we huddled together, taking token photos of the geysers but the highlight was when we got breakfast and warm boiled eggs we could warm up our hands with. Tragic isn't it? Well here are some of those token photos we got. Oh and I also ate a lama kebab. Nom  nom nom!

Our final  tour was one called ´Space´, because the skies are so clear in the desert you can see the stars really clearly. In fact the largest astronomical project called ALMA is situated high in the moutains here.  We got to see the signs of the zodiac in the sky and then got to use some big ass telescopes to check our a whole bunch of stars, the moon  and saturn. Plus our Canadian guide/astronomer was hilarious, "OK everyone walk 4 metres to your left, if you´re American just follow everyone else" (it's a metric system joke by the way). So I know a lot of you folks thought I was uber cool but I'm actually just a big nerd. But you gotta admit, these photos we took from the telescope are pretty awesome, especially being able to see the rings on saturn.

Next stop, Bolivia (even though my best Chilean friend Maria told me not to go there).

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