La Serena to San Pedro

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Where I stayed
casa maria

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Headed north to La Serena a beautiful coastal town. Stayed in "Casa Maria" (had my own room what a treat!!) with the idea of going to the Pisco Elqui observatory the next night to look at the stars. Unfortunately there were too many clouds so the trip was cancelled!

Decided from there to go to San Pedro de Atacama. A desert town where there are loads of treks. Managed to get a bus with Julian who had stayed in Casa Maria too and we met Melanie so the three of us headed up to San Pedro. What a place!! It was a really small little town that had loads of really nice cafes and bars and tour companys! The roads were all dust roads and we were surrounded by desert. I half expected Jabba the Hut to appear dragging Princess Leah around with him.

I did two day trips from here one to El Tatio geysers and the other to Valle de la Luna. They were amazing. The geyser trip started at 3.30am and we were driven two hours up to 4300m (I think - it might have been higher). The view was worth the freezing cold (which I was totally unprepared for) and the smell of sulphur. We saw Llamas (which you could then buy kebabs of - very nice apparently), Vicunas. a flamingo and some nice birds. It was brilliant. The scenery is out of this world.

The next night we all did the Valle de la Luna where you go to watch the sunset. Started out doing a walk above the Death Valley. This valley used to be called something else but was renamed. Our guide told us that it was so that tourists would be interested in seeing it! We then ran (or rather I walked) down the sand dunes to get to the bus for the sunset. Walked up the Valle and sat eating "Kuky" biscuits (very nice) with Melanie and we watched the sun go down. Very beautiful.

Ended the day with a nice meal and a chilean wine at Cafe Adobe in San Pedro. Got up early the next morning and left Melanie and Julian fast asleep in the room (lucky them!!) to head off to my Salar de Uyuni trip.
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