20.01.2013 - 27.01.2013
20.01.2013 - 27.01.2013 33 °C
It’s been a short period in Chile, but a great one. After the long but comfortable trip from Lima to Arica, I explored the quiet and charming city. After watching a great sunset over the Pacific Ocean, I headed back to the hostel. It was only there I found out there is a 2-hour time difference with Peru and it was already close to 10pm. As I had to get up early the next morning to catch the bus to Putre, I packed my stuff and went to bed.
The next morning, the bus took me from Arica (0 m) to Putre (3.500 m). Arriving there, I met Sonja (Switzerland) and Jonas & Cécile (Sweden), with whom I spent the next 3 days with in Putre. We had a great time in the national parks (4.600 m and above), seeing magnificent landscapes with ever changing rock formations, snowy volcanoes, lakes and amazing wildlife. This time of the year it’s supposed to rain, but we were lucky and only caught some rain and even snow late in the afternoon. I was also lucky because I did not get any signs of altitude sickness. At the end of day 2 & 3, we got to relax in hot springs, relaxing the muscles and giving new energy afterwards.
Heading back from Putre to Arica, I found a direct night bus to San Pedro de Atacama: another 11h in the bus. It’s a long trip, but I love night busses. You really save a day by travelling at night and on top of that, you really have some time for yourself. A perfect moment to reflect on the previous days, filter and select the pictures, get some rest,…
San Pedro de Atacama is a small town in one of the driest deserts in the world. When arriving, I could immediately feel the intense heat and dryness. The morning I spent exploring the town, which is very nice but unfortunately full of tourists. In the afternoon I visited Valle de la Muerte and Valle de la Luna, an amazing mix of desert and rocks in all possible colors. Cherry on the pie was a spectacular sunset over the desert. And after the sun was hidden behind the mountains, the desert showed his (her?) real beauty, making the color pallet more amazing than before.
After dinner with a Belgian/Dutch couple I got to know during the excursion, it was time for bed already, as I had to wake up at 3:50 am the next morning, to go and visit the geysers north of San Pedro de Atacama. It was hard getting out of bed, but we had a nice group and the setting was once again spectacular. A plain area full of smoking holes and geysers, together with the sunrise… It was -5,5 °C while visiting the geysers, but luckily it heated up along the day and we got to visit the hot springs (again).
At night, the goodbye drink got ‘a little’ out of hand as we went to an illegal desert party. Around 1h30 at night, everyone gathered on the streets with bottles of boose (mostly pisco and coca cola, to make piscola) and walks out of town into the desert, while the police is trying to stop everyone which is carrying alcohol in public. We got safely to the party and god knows how, but we also got home safely. I only woke up at 12h30 the next day, which made me miss my connection to Salta, Argentina. Hence I was forced to spend another day relaxing in San Pedro de Atacama. But there are worse places to get stuck for an extra day, so I enjoyed the afternoon chatting and relaxing, went to bed early and now I can really say I’m on my way to Argentina. It’s a long drive again, but the scenery is amazing: driving through the dry altiplano, spotting groups of llamas, looking at the road stretching out as far as the eye can see,…
The goal in Argentina is to get to Buenos Aires. It’s a little unsure how I will get there, but the plan I have now is visiting Salta and Cachi, then hitchhiking my way to Cafayate while doing some national parks, stopping in Túcuman and Cordoba before I go to Buenos Aires. It will take me more time than I initially had foreseen, limiting the rest of my tour. But I think it will be a great adventure and a better experience than rushing through all the typical tourist stops and big cities. I keep you posted!
Lots of love to you all,