Published: April 5th 2012December 18th 2011
After dropping Lesley off at the airport, we headed back into town to get our Car papers so we can leave the country. We had to search for a while to find the registrario civil, and when we finallz found it, they told us that we have to wait another 21 days for the papers to be in the system..just another example of how slow and complicated south america is..
well,we decided to sleep on the beach tonight and head to San Pedro de Attacama tomorrow. We went to the cinema later on to whatch the newest Twilight, breaking dawn part 1, Matt fell asleep...lol
Then we parked our car up outside a hotel directly on the beach and got ready to go to sleep..when we were all tucked up in bed, we realized that we were sourrounded by Army people and police dogs.. we only realized now that we parked in the middle of an Army Base!! well,at least we were save i guess, was a bit scary dou, we expected the army to knock on the door any minute..great night sleep dou,waking up to the sound of the waves clashing onto the rocks.. San Pedro de Attacama
Drive to San Pedro de Attacma, was looooong... the drive into town was breath taking, driving past a Moonlike landskape, the road was within a beautiful canyon... Once we arrived in San Pedro, we had a stroll around, some nice food and then we tried to find a camping place. Matt found a cute little spot instead right next to a playground and a kiosk, where we spent the night. Laguna Cejar
The day after we took off on a little adventure to Laguna Cejar, we got told by all the travel agencies that we couldnt make it there without a 4x4, so we went anyway.. Laguna Cejar was 35km out of town, along a dirttrack, but Kobi did well and we had no problems getting there. No one was a the Lagoon when we got there which was awesome, its such a beautiful and peaceful spot! there are 3 Lagoons that you can go into, its like the dead see and you can just float in the water because of all the salt in the water.The first time Matt ever managed to float like a Pro!
There was also loads of flamingos and we tried to sneak onto them as close as we could..
Later on, we decided to stay here overnight,and we met a guy from canada that did the whole of southamerica on his bike (bicycle). Which was a very hard task beeing so high up and in the middle of the desert. It was soooo hot during the day, about 40 degrees. And sooo cold at night! So he was driving up and down all this mountains with his bike, about 6 hours a day. We were so impressed, that we decided to invite him into our Marque (a tent outside the kombi) and cooked him some spaghetti bolognese (for strenghts for the next day, wow he ate a loot!) So we stayed at this magical place overnight, watching the sunset over the lagoons and later on the stars that were cristal clear above us...
The next day the biker left eary,and we had another realxing day at the lagoon ahead of us..It was quite funny to whatch all the tourists coming for half an hour, a lot of them not even going into the water, and then just leave again..
Whereas we just chilled at the lagoon all day,sunbathing, swimming, taking pictures and getting horrificly burned! When we got out of the water,our bodies were covered in white salt, so we somehow thought that layer would protect us and we wouldnt get burned. Well,wrong, I never got burned that bad in all my life! I was actually still peeling 2 weeks later..
We made our way back into town later that afternoon to grab some food and slept back at our little kiosk again.
The day after we decided to see the salt flat near attacama, it took us about an hour to get there, but the entry was quite expensive and the salt flat wasnt really that nice, so we decided to go to Quebrada de Jerez instead, which is a little valley with a river going upstream, very beautiful and peaceful, there was a lot of ancient houses along the river, and we found a very steep sandhill, climbed up there and just enjoyed the view over the valley for about and hour..it was sooo nice.. on the way back, matt climbed some more mountains and in the end, we found an amazing spot on top
of a hill, overlooking the whole of the desert, we parked Kobi there and took some amazing night shots of her. The sky was filled with starts once again, and we had a great night running around the Kobi with a torch and doing all kind of stupid things for about 2hours... then we finally went to sleep, not without watching a little series of How I met your mother before..
Back to San Pedro for a bit of food, while we were cooking outside the van, some skaterguy started chatting to us. He was actually from san pedro, but has lifed in costa rica for 2 years and was currently a tour guide here..He invited us to come with him and some friends to Ojos the Attacama and later to a Saltlake. It was great!! We got to the Salt lake just before sunset and it was unbelievable, once again. It looked like a Sea of snow, white and crystal clear. When the sun went down and the read reflected on the salt lake, we had to just stand there and whatch, it was sooo beautiful, no way to describe it..
We had a few beers with
the 3 locals who were with us, we put our little tent
up and just enjoyed a beautiful place with great people. The others left around
midnight, so it was only matt, me and kobi left on the salt lake.. The morning
after we did a little fotoshoot on the flats and then headed back into
We chilled out in san pedro today,cooked some food and researched the best
route to get into Bolivia.. We really wanted to drive trough the Uyuni Salt
Flat, the biggest and highest one in the world. We couldnt take the tourist
route because we would have needed a 4x4 for it, so we decided to drive up to
Calama, and then cross the boarder at Ollague into bolivia and onto the Salt
Flat. Puritima Hot Springs
Since our Carpapers were still not here, we decided to do another little trip
up to the Puritima Hot Spring.We left around 5 because we wanted to spend the
night there.. After a long and hard climb uphill, kobi was exhausted and we just
got to the gate of the hot springs when the guy who worked there closed them..
over to the kobi and started chatting to us and eventually invited us to
come and stay with him at the hot springs overnight. how coool! The springs were hidden in a Mountainvalley,it was a very steep road down hill, we had to abandon
kobi and walk.. once there, there are 8 different hot springs, from 33 - 30
degrees warm flowing water..it was great! there were 2 little housed down there,
one where the workers slept and another for massages. Felipe, the local guy who
worked at the springs, offered us the massage room to sleep in, there was a bed
with about 6 quilts in there, it was awesome! So Matt and I jumped into one of
the Pools for a swim, Felipe said we could shower there aswell,since the water
was constantly floating, so we hade a shower under a little waterfall in a hot
spring..it was amazing..We stayed in the spring for about 2 hours, just loving
the the heat and the sourroundings.. when it got dark,we jumped out and fuck me
it was soooo cold!! the nights in the desert are freezing and you totally forget
about that when you sit in a warm hot
spring...Felipe invited us for Coffee and
dinner into their house, where we met the other 3 people who worked there..We
had a great night having some food, playing the guitar and singing local
songs..Matt and I had a bottle of wine, some pisco and beer with us, and we all
got pretty drunk.. it got even worse when Felipe got his Jack Daniels bottle out
and we all decided to jump into the hot spring and carry on drinking there..
lol.. it was soooo beautiful, the steam of the springs in the middle of the
night, all the stars..wow... we must have stayed in the hot spring a good couple
of hours, drinking and laughing. The way out of the hot spring at 2 in the
morning was extremly cold again, but thanks the 6 quilts and my personal little
heater (Matt) i fell asleep safe and sound...
The next day we were about to leave when Filipe offered us breakfast and said that we could gladly spend the day here and have a swim (normaly you have to pay 110 pesos entry fee to the springs) so we stayed another day, relaxing, swimming in the beautiful springs, sunbathing,
living the life! It was just great! When evening came, we were about to leave again, when we got invited another time to stay the night and eat dinner with the crew. Matt and I felt bad and decided to cook dinner for everyone, but when we went into the kitchen, everything was already prepared. All we could do was cook some soup for starters.. After dinner, we got our cards out and played a few rounds of spoons, until all our faces were covered in black from the kork we used. If you lost, you got painted by the winner with a kork that we set on fire.. great fun… later on we changed to gaemsch, a swiss card game which was great fun! We all went to sleep quite late but had another great night with our new found friends..
It was really hard for us to leave this place the next morning. We had another breakfast with the crew and then sadly said goodbye to this beautiful place and its great people..
We drove back to San pedro to check on our car papers, and a miracle happened, they were actually there! Yey, so we
were off to Bolivia! We were really sad leaving San Pedro, so many special and beautiful places here.. But we knew the biggest salt flat in the world was waiting for Kobi to conquer it.. So we drove to Calama, where we wanted to get insurance for the car, but we got told it wasn’t necessary. We bought another spare tyre for Kobi, cause the old one was pretty crap, and off we went towards Ollague.. well at least we thought so.. we got lost about 10 times, driving in circles for nearly 2 hours and asking soo many people for directions.. We finally found the way and got out of the city and slept in a place called Chiuchiu, an hour outside of Calama.
The next day we drove on to Ollague to cross the boarder to Bolivia. The drive was spectacular, 7 hours trough mountains, past volcanoes, trough salt flats and desert. The Mountains had all the colours in the world, it was great to look at. The road was horrible, so we could only go slow, but we didn’t mind since the scenery was so beautiful, we stoped many times to take pictures and videos.
There are more photos below