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Published: July 13th 2016
Was glad to move on from Uyuni, not the most pleasant place I've visited. Almost didn't make it out of town though, as I couldn't get out of my hotel! Everything was locked up tight & it took me a good 15mins of yelling to wake someone up to let me out! Luckily, still made my bus, but not by much!! Uneventful bus ride through great desert scenery with a "breaky" stop in Atocha on the way. Great people watching at the stops too. Arrived mid afternoon and hooked up with a French couple who offered to share a cab with me. For once hadn't done my homework so wasn't sure where I was staying, so accepted with gratitude. Turned out we could have walked in less than 10mins. Joined them at the Mitsu Hotel- purportedly, the fanciest place in town...... Nice to have a bit of "luxury" now and then. A bit run down & overpriced really, but had my own ensuite room where I caught up with all my laundry! Yahoo!! Wandered around and found a cafe across the street named "El Garage" for a bite to eat. Loved the place- very eclectic. The owner was
a Che fan & motorcyclist. The place was all decked out like a mini "Che" museum and also had lots of dusty oddments made out of the giant cajon cactus. (Sorry, photos didn't turn out!) Food was pretty good & the staff very friendly. My favourite place in the time I was there. Spent the rest of the day of the day orienting myself and trying to find some sort of local map to do some hiking. Easier said than done! Finally got a hand-drawn version of suggested hikes on the outskirts of town I could do myself without a tour provided by the girls at Valle Hermoso HI. Had heard (good old Lonely Planet warning tip??) that they were very aggressive in their approach to tour-selling & that I should probably avoid them. However, that was not my experience at all!! Perhaps because I was travelling solo & it was low season they were more low key, but whatever- I really appreciated their help. Noone else was prepared to give me any info without booking a tour...
October 16 & 17
Next two days, I headed out of town to explore places such as Quebrada Palala, El
Canon del Inca, Valle de los Machos and Puerta del Diablo to soak up more desert landscapes. Hardly saw a soul except for lots of goats, a couple of goatherders, some locals doing domestic chores , one lone horse tour guide with his 2 clients & a couple of other hikers. Splendid rock formations, some reminiscent of Cappadoccia in Turkey , great weather and great views around the region. Fabulous!
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