I recovered from my Peruvian Plague just in time for an eight hour trip into
The border town of
We took a ten hour overnight bus to the next town, where we planned to rent a truck to explore the geysers and salt lakes as none of us were really tour people. During the night, we were awakened for a passport check and a vegetable check. After our bags were checked for contraband bananas, it was hard to get to sleep again. I spent most of the rest of the trip complaining to Sean about my lack of sleep, making sure he was lacking, too.
We arrived in the town of
The town of San Pedro de Aatacama is dropped in the midst of some of the most amazing scenery. Our first tour from San Pedro took us to “Salar de Atacama” the salt flats and salt lakes of the region. This is one of three salt lakes in the world, and it was full of flamingos. The landscape looked like snow that had yet to be plowed, but thankfully not as cold.
Our second tour got us up at the ungodly hour of . We were going to 12000 feet to visit the Tatio Geysers. The geysers are most active in the morning, hence the bleary eyed wakeup call. As we traveled the bus got colder and colder. Ice formed inside the windows as I began to add layers of clothes. Does this bus have heat? I am always cold anyway, and this cold was trying my cold tolerance. I thought it could not get much worse, until we got out of the bus.
The guide told us it was -6 Celsius, but the geysers were not as active because it was not that cold. What? I had never been so cold in my entire life! I was wearing two pairs of pants, 3 shirts, one sweatshirt, one rain jacket, a hat, a scarf, and a scowl. We were putting our feet into the thermal blasts of the geysers to try to stay warm (do not try this one at home). Once the sun came up and the warmth kicked in (barely) I could finally enjoy the beauty of the geysers.
Our last tour took us to two valleys with the goal of watching the sun set over the dunes. The setting was so beautiful and quiet, and if you stood still you could actually here the rocks crackling from the quartz and salt. As we sat with our new friends on top of a ridge enjoying the view, I thought to myself
P.S. Happy Birthdays to Kim and Erin back at home!