As many of you know I've shortened my trip to deal with some graduate school stuff, so this is it..this is the last new place I am going to on my trip, and it was a good way to finish things.
I arrived in San Pedro de Atacama by bus from Salta, which was a nice 11 hour busride thru the Andes mountains. There was a long section of the trip that we were on an altiplano over 15,000 ft. My 1st reaction to San Pëdro was not good. It is a dusty little village, with one story connected buildings that would never be noticed if not for its proximity to incredible desert scenery. The prices of hotels there were astronomical considering the relative crappiness of them...but after I got over that, it really grew on me.
I booked a night tour for the Valley of the moon, which happened to coincide with the full moon that evening...as you can see from the pictures..the sunset was truly amazing over this barren crazy lunar like landscape. The next day I took a full day trip into the Bolivian side of the Atacama. Most people here take the 3 day trip across the bolivian part to the Salar de Uyuni..which is the one place I regret not getting to..but my trip was ¨wundershul¨ (my german tourmates gave me that one)...there's not much explanation..just check out the pictures..but the day involved checking out volcanic lakes in the driest desert in the world, with the most amazing of them being Laguna Colorado..one of those you must see places if you can. The water was red or off red...sorta like ruby red grapefruit color...We also saw geysers..more interesting to others that havent been to Yellowstone, but that is where I set new altitude record for myself..4900 meters..or a little over 16,000 feet..
So, after spending 11 hours travelling in this jeep over rough terrain, I got to san pedro, showered, ate and got on another 11 hour overnight bus to Arica..the northern tip of Chile, bordering Peru.
So, thats it..have to work my way to Lima, Peru now, and then fly back to dreary, cold, NYC...but still is the best city in the world...!
I'll write one more entry to wrap it all up, but I look forward to seeing everybody. Hopefully, I will bring the sunshine and warmth back with me..