Published: December 5th 2011December 4th 2011
Perro (our canine companion) running into the valley
A short stint in Chile´s Atacama Desert was all we had time for before heading across the Andes into Argentina. We have dubbed Argentina the Land of the Mullet. Every guy here, young or old seems to have a mullet - did they get stuck in another era?
But to rewind a little. Our time in San Pedro was good. We downgraded to a camp site after one night in a hostel due to the high prices. We enjoyed a hike through the Valley of Death, accompanied by two dogs (once again), where we watched some sandboarders and enjoyed the sunset atop a ridge. We also decided (against the advice of tour operators) that we would cycle through the driest desert in the world to see the sights, rather than go with an expensive organised tour. We left early to beat the heat and arrived at Laguna Piedra, a deep, clear salt lagoon where we floated in solitude, joined only by a few flamingoes nearby. After a yummy cheese and tomato sarmie, we cycled on to the Ojos de Salar (eyes of the desert). These are literally two big holes in the ground in the middle of nowhere filled with
Where sandstone and sand meet
brackish, mildly salty water. Here we had a second swim and sarmie before making the long trip back home in the heat of the day, along seriously corrugated dirt roads.
As we were in the Atacama desert, stargazing is some of the best in the world, so we signed up for a stargazing tour. The tour was excellent, led by a French astronomer/comedian. We looked at the night sky with a naked eye, then at particular constellations, planets, nebulae and galaxies with his array of telescopes and finally had a cuppa hot chocolate and a chat in his house.
An expensive bus trip and two long border crossings later we were in Argentina. Our first stop was the friendly, neat town of Salta. Here we relaxed, went for dinner with new friends, and did some job searching on the internet (because, unfortunately for us, we have to return to reality in 3 months time!). We then headed on another 12 hour bus trip to Cordoba, where we are now. We happen to be staying in an all-Israeli hostel, so are feeling a little sparse.
We are enjoying the more civilised countries of Argentina and Chile: countries where
Valley view with the volcano looming behind
traffic lights are obeyed, toilet paper can be thrown into the toilet, streets are relatively clean and buses are luxurious. We have just finished a healthy salad for supper to try and counter all the grease we have been ingesting of late!
Hope you are all enjoying the shut down period, aren´t too stressed about the festive time that lies ahead, and that you´ll all be able to relax these holidays!
Love the Holtzs
There are more photos below