On our last day in San Pedro, we borrowed bikes from the hostel and headed to Valle de la Lune – Valley of the Moon. We started from town at about 2pm with approximately a 4km bike ride to the information centre, where we got a map of the Valley and paid our admission fees. We then biked for 5km more to the salt caverns, where we managed to miss the entrance but find the exit – so we went through them backwards! The caverns involved a bit of scrambling and we needed our torches at a few points – but it was cool to see the caves with walls of salt.
The next 2km were a steep uphill ride– we wound up pushing our bikes up to the parking lot for the Great Sand Dune, which we later came back to.
We then biked another 1km to where there was a natural amphitheatre.
Another 3km downhill found us at the Tres Marias. The road down got pretty bumpy – I wound up with blisters on my thumbs from holding on so tight, but I was determined not to fall off! We tried to bike down to the salt mines, but the road was not made for bikes and we gave up after an extremely uncomfortable and bumpy fifteen minutes!
We then reversed our steps and headed back to the Great Sand Dune where we climbed to the top and watched the sun set over the valley.
On our way down, we realised that Reuben’s bike had a puncture. After the rangers helped us work out how to use the pump to fix it, the sun had completely gone down and so we biked back under the stars (yes mums, we did have headlamps!) At one point, we stopped and turned our lights off and gazed up at the incredible clear skies – it was so beautiful. All up, the bike ride was about 30kms and we were pretty hungry and tired by the end of it! We got back to town just before 9 and had to scramble to get some money changed and buy winter hats for the next day’s adventure – a trip to Bolivia and the Salar de Uyuni.