Exploring the desert – San Pedro de Atacama

I arrived in San Pedro late Sunday afternoon, after an amazing drive through the desert.  I didn’t really know what to expect to see going through the desert – I had no idea just how awesome it really is!!

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San Pedro de Atacama is a small town located close to the Argentina and Bolivia borders, high in the Andes – I checked the altitude and it is over 2000 metres!  No wonder I had a pressure headache for the first two days here!  It is a very unique town with many interesting laws and rules – one being that there is no dancing allowed!  They have bars here, but in order to order an alcoholic beverage, you must also order food.  Apparently the small police force enforces this !!  And I found out that the fire department is hardly ever busy with fires, but are quite busy rescuing visitors from the desert who thought they could handle being out in the desert on a hike alone.  Not too bright !!!

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I have been a witness to a weather pattern that is apparently quite unusual for here – strong winds for three days, resulting in sand tornadoes (? – is that a thing?).  My tour out to the Valle de la Luna had to be postponed until Friday evening – which is okay.  I do NOT want to be out in the valley with this much wind.  The forecast is calling for the wind to die down tonight – I am crossing my fingers!  I am tired of having so much sand in my hair and in my eyes!!

 

I have learned some of the modern facts of the town, and tomorrow I will be going on another free walking tour to learn about the history of the town.  I am going to explore just outside the town tomorrow morning.  I really am enjoying it here – I just want the wind to stop!!!

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My time is quickly coming to an end in Chile though – in two weeks I will be back in Canada.  Wow, it has really gone by fast.  I still have more to see though and am looking forward to my last two weeks in South America!!!

 

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