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Published: April 5th 2008
Iglesio San Pedro
through the archway of the Paseo Artesanal
I´ll just quote the following from the Lonely Planet, because I simply can´t say it any better than this.
¨Oasis attract flocks and there´s no exception here. A once-humble stop on the trans-Andean cattle drive, San Pedro de Atacama (altitude 2440m) is now prime real estate. In one dcade a proliferation of guesthouses, eateries, internet cafes and tour agencies have wedged their way into its dusty streets, molding it into a kind of adobe-landia
. There are all the cons of fast development (steep prices, cranky tour operators and exaggerated offers) yet...there is incredible quiet, psychedelic landscapes, courtyard bonfires under star-scattered heavens and hammock-strewn hostels ... this is a damn-good place to kick back.
While this oasis conjures up delectable culinary treats (with a variety that far outshines most of Chile), guests pay dearly for their veggie stir-fry or mozzarella-dribbled pizza.¨
The above is a perfect description of this place. I was certainly not in Bolivia anymore. San Pedro de Atacama definitely has ambience and a certain sense of cool. And, while it was nice to kick-back in a place like this both Jaime and I were shocked at the prices the entire time (Canada-type prices). Before we really
Valee de la Luna
Sometimes, as the sun sets it lights up this ridge ... not this time :)
knew what the exchange rate was we were off to try some sand-boarding (see video) and catch the sunset over the Valee de la Luna. I think I´ll stick to snow-boarding which I´m not good at either ... but there´s too much friction on sand. Since we were only planning to be here one night it was the only chance to catch the famed sunset (which was a touch disappointing given the hype). The town itself is tiny, charming and easily explored on foot likely covered the whole place twice in the short time we were there.
After one day we headed to Calama. For me this was a brief stop-over on my way (via night-bus) to Arica in northern Chile. Fortunate for me as this town is a bit of a hole. Unfortunately, Jaime got stuck here for 2-nights as the first bus to Salta, Argentina wasn´t until Friday morning. Hopefully she made it there OK.
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