Blogs from Calama, Antofagasta Region, Chile, South America

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South America » Chile » Antofagasta Region » Calama July 26th 2018

21 juillet "This place, is coming like a ghost town No job to be found in this country Can't go on no more The people getting angry" The Specials (À La Serena) Il est 16h00. Je prend ma place panoramique au deuxième étage d'un Turbus qui partira pour la route éternelle vers Iquique encore plus au Nord, presqu'à la frontière Péruvienne (et Bolivienne). C'est un 18 heures de transport routier qui m'attend (coût: 104$ canadien, en section "Premium" dans le bus). C'est moins long de se rendre de Montréal à Santiago en avion que de La Serena à Iquique en bus... Mais ça ne m'inquiète guère: maintenant que je suis assis, je peux vous affirmer que mon confort sera définitivement plus grand en bus "Premium" au Chili que serré dans un avion-sardine en classe économique. En ... read more
Route vide
Relieuse
Locomotive

South America » Chile » Antofagasta Region » Calama February 28th 2015

Geo: -22.4528, -68.9247After getting up at 4.30am for our transfer to Santiago airport for our flight to Calama and no business lounge to speak of. Almost two hours later we land in Calama with sweeping views once more of the magnificent Andes and the parched treeless Atacama desert.It's here we are met by our driver for the 100km drive to San Pedro de Atacama. A tiny village in the middle of the desert overshadowed by a huge snow capped volcano. Here we shall spend 3 nights. We cannot check into our hotel until 3 so have to spend 3 hours wandering the Unpaved roads taking in the sights and sounds. It's a tourist hotspot for both Chileans and the likes of us. Quite hippy here but not in a Byron bay/Margaret river kinda way. The next ... read more
Atacama desert
Volcano
Our cabin

South America » Chile » Antofagasta Region » Calama April 15th 2012

An hour or so northwest of San Pedro de Atacama lies Calama - a god-forsaken place in the middle of the desert which tends to attract singularly unflattering descriptions. "Calama is an absolute hole", warns one guidebook. And we're looking forward to spending our afternoon there. Calama certainly is a hole. A great big hole. Perhaps one of the biggest holes on Earth. And although few would ever dream of going there, every Chilean owes an awful lot to dusty, tatty Calama. Just north of town is the Chuquicamata copper mine, the most massive open-pit mine in the world. Over 4 kilometres long and a kilometre deep, this hole - along with a few others strung along Chile's northern regions - keeps the nation's coffers full. Red gold, as they sometimes call it, generates a lot ... read more
Chuquicamata mining camp - deserted
Eerie - Chuquicamata mining town
Mine tailings behind the deserted camp

South America » Chile » Antofagasta Region » Calama April 10th 2012

In the UK there are cabs you can hail from the side of the road or book in advance. In Chile it is the same but there are also cabs called Collectivos. Marvellous idea, the Collectivo. It is basically a taxi that drives around the same route, the same as a bus, only it's a saloon car. It's a fast and cheaper way for the community to get around the area. Once full it can speed off to its prearranged destination without all the pick ups and drop offs. They all have the number of the route they take displayed on the roof and aslo the places they go to. They do not deviate from that route. Did i say cheaper? The trouble is when you first use one you are not sure of the price. ... read more

South America » Chile » Antofagasta Region » Calama March 11th 2012

It has been pretty busy with school starting so I haven't had much time the past couple of weeks for updating! Kurt has also started his new job and is staying busier these days (and nights) with that. He is teaching English to adults and seems to be enjoying it quite a bit! Today is his first super-long day...8 am to 10 pm with a 2 hour lunch break. Poor guy but at least I can take a nap and be ready to go to dinner when he is finished! :) I adore my little chicaditas! They are very cute and very affectionate (I have been trying to teach them to kiss on the cheek, not on the lips:)! I like that a lot about this culture. It doesn't matter who you are--it is customary to ... read more
Plaza Colon
Grafitti
Special tower in plaza

South America » Chile » Antofagasta Region » Calama May 20th 2011

It is day twenty. Just when I thought I could sink no lower things get even worse. This morning I go on the bus feeling quite good. I had spent a relaxing, quiet night at a good hostel in Salta. I figured out what I was going to do. I actually had direct contact with a friend, even though it was merely a facebook chat with Sofie. I learned that my parents had put a thousands dollars in my account without asking me. They must have sensed that I was struggling. If you are reading mom and dad, THANK YOU! Their enormous consideration did indeed put my mind at ease. Or at least temporarily. The pass through the Andes Mountains was much different than down south. This was more what I had expected with many steep ... read more

South America » Chile » Antofagasta Region » Calama October 25th 2009

We had to leave our hotel really early to make our flight to Calama. Our flight left at 7 a.m. so we needed to get to the airport early. We left the hotel around 5 a.m. I got up and made eggs for the myself and the girls in my room. Since we were leaving so early we had to miss the hotel breakfast. Since it was so early in morning there wasn´t any traffic so it didn´t take too long to get to the airport. We breezed through check in and security and soon were on our way to Calama. The Calama airport is really tiny. It is one of my favorites because they let you get off the plane and walk on the tarmac to the airport. Most other airports pack you onto a ... read more
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Photo 5
Photo 6

South America » Chile » Antofagasta Region » Calama July 15th 2009

wow.....what an amazing few days! I lelt Salta yesterday to visit the Saline Grande Area of Northern Argentina, a land of multi-coloured mountains, ancient Pre-incan cultures, Altiplano culture, vast salt plains and ofcourse.......crazy altitudes. At the height of the trip i was at a dizzy 4180 meters above sea level on my way to the saline grande salt plains. Lucky I had the cocoa leaves to chew on or I might not have made it. the views were amazing, and I got my first glimpse of the Llama and Aplachca and two other wild varieties whose names evade my tired mind now. Fredrico, who was my driver, told me about the local goddess of the region, Pachamama. we offered cocoa leaves and water at her shrine so that she could give us a safe journey through ... read more

South America » Chile » Antofagasta Region » Calama June 6th 2009

Geo: -22.4528, -68.9247... read more
Chuqui
Ex teatro de Chuqui
Pulperia

South America » Chile » Antofagasta Region » Calama April 12th 2009

I bought a bus ticket to Calama with Kenny Bus. Upon finding the seat, I realised the seat wasn't a 'cama' (first class) as the saleswoman had promised. She had cunningly said 10000 pesos for Semi-cama (more like business/economy class), and 12000 pesos for Cama. Because what I saw, the whole BUS was semi-cama. I'd been cheated. Silvita's devil side awoke and I wasn't about to be taken for a ride. I wanted my 2000 pesos back (a whole 3 euros, mind you, but that wasn't the point). I was annoyed beyond words. As the bus pulled out of the driveway, with my luggage but not me on it, I got on and challenged the bus assistant. Despite my lack of Spanish, I wasn't going to let this slide and challenged him. This is roughly how ... read more




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