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Published: March 21st 2017
A quick stop over in Santiago (no tattoos this time) and we were off to the airport! A few hours later we were in the middle of the atacama desert! The only way to explain this place is, it as though they have picked up a town and literally placed it in the most isolated desolate place in Chile. We got dropped off at the bus station and had to walk to our hostel. It was like a scene from a western movie, the dog was following us and all the houses were mud huts. The locals came out only to have a good look at the silly tourists humping around backpacks in the midday sun. We eventually arrived at our hostel- which actually was really cute. Bag drop and into town (if you can call it that) for some dinner and a beer. The town again was a maze of mud huts caught up in a dust bowl but actually had some real charm about it. We soon found out we couldn't have alcohol though unless we ordered food- bummer. So we ordered food and enjoyed the last of the days sun, a bottle of red and some cheese!
next day we were up early to head off to the volcano, several lakes and the Chilean salt flats. We have attached some photos of what we saw, but honestly they do not do it justice. The scenery was just breath taking. When we got back to the hostel we cracked open a bottle of wine- each and made some friends da for the night. We were meant to be heading to bed early but that all went out the window when we heard about a desert party. Long story short we ended up wandering the desert with a bottle of pisco and a two litre bottle of red wine until the early hours! What we did I don't quite know, but we had a great time!
The next day we literally did nothing- we chilled and had an admin day. In the evening we were booked onto our star gazing trip. Now in my mind that was laying on my back and staring at the stars with a pisco sour in hand. Occasionally having to get up to look in a telescope. Nope!!! We were dropped off in moon valley national park with our guide to begin our midnight
hike into the park- thank god I decided against wearing flip flops!!! The guide proceeded to lead us deeper and deeper into a rock formation/cavern. At some points we were on our bellies sliding through tiny gaps and scrambling up rock faces- this was on par to caving! However it was all worth it when we popped up on the top of a rock formation with only us for miles around. The sky was incredible and the full moon cast and eerie light over everything for miles around. We could clearly see Orion's Belt, Taurus and the southern cross- it was just beautiful. We ended up on a small ridge, now with the telescopes and pisco, getting a closer look at the moon. We were also able to see Jupiter and some of its moons. It was a late evening but we had a great time.
The following day it was back to Santiago to pack our bags and say goodbye to South America. We've got mixed feelings about leaving. The last two and a half months we have met some incredible people and made memories that genuinely will last a lifetime. We're looking forward to a change of continent
and to see some familiar faces.
On to the next chapter Lauren and Jo!
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