San Pedro de Atacama

Published: December 7th 2016
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San Pedro is close to the Bolivian and Argentinian borders and it is in the middle of the desert, you could feel how dry it is on your lips. It is a cute town all built in clay .... for tourists. I did quite a few tours cause it is all about seeing the wonders of the world, the geological phenomenons.
The Valle de la Luna is just dried oxidised land after seawater evaporated but it looks a bit like a moon crater hence the name. We first walked through a cave that had been carved in by past rivers before heading to viewpoints on the valley with sunset.
Second day I went to the altiplano Lagos, the visit starts on the desert of salt of Chile, it was I retesting for me to be able to compare with the desert in Bolivia just on the other side of a mountain range. On the Chilean side, it is a lot drier so the salt completely crystallised and looked like an absolute mess on the ground, absolutely beautiful! There a couple of lagoons full of flamingos, I had never seen them from this close, still far, but close than ever for me especially when they flew over our heads!
We then drove up towards the volcanoes where there were two pretty lagoons with guanacos (family of the llama).
Third day I went to the rainbow valley, since I had seen the rainbow mountain in Peru I was intrigued. It was not as impressive as I had hoped, to me it looked like a gone off pudding as only the top of a small hill turned green in the middle of a red valley.
The fourth day, i woke at 4 am to be driven real close to the Bolivian border and see the geysers emerge in the sunrise. They are most impressive early morning cause the air is colder so the hot Boiling water turns into high columns of vapour when hitting the air.
It turns out I was in a hostal full of French people so It was a great atmosphere as they filled all the cliches by finding some mustard and pate and a french bakery that sold baguettes and pain au chocolat, that got everyone excited for the whole few days there !

Additional photos below
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moon valley

altiplanic salt flats (yep salt on the floor, crystallised)

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