Leaving Santiago behind, we took a 22 hour bus ride to Calama, followed by a 2 hour ride to San Pedro de Atacama, a town located in the driest place on earth – the Atacama desert. When I last came here 11 years ago both hot water and electricity were quite sporadic. It has modernised quite a bit since then, and we had internet and electricity 24/7.
On our first day in San Pedro we took a tour which had been organised by our hostel. We headed to Death Valley, where we climbed up a sand dune and went sandboarding. Reuben and I are pretty uncoordinated but we both managed to stay standing for some of our runs! Climbing back up took a lot of energy and so we only managed 4 or 5 runs each. Sandboarding was so much fun! (Except for my poor bruised tailbone – one too many falls!)
Our next stop was the Laguna Cejar, a salt lake where we could float without any effort due to the extreme levels of salt in the water. We had to wash off with fresh water immediately afterwards, as our skin was stinging.
We then stayed at the lake and watched the sun set over the nearby volcano. It was stunning to see the blue sky turn pink and orange, and watch the stars come out over the desert.
I will be writing a few posts about San Pedro de Atacama as we saw so many beautiful things…next post will be about the geyser field located at 4,200 metres above sea level!