As indicated by its name, San Pedro de Atacama is right in the Atacama Desert and one of the driest places on earth. Its landscape was so dry and strange that it sometimes didn’t feel like the earth anymore.
And on our first day in the Atacama Desert we visited two places that felt truly extraterrestrial – the Mars valley and the Moon valley. We’ve obviously never been to the mars or the moon but the landscape in those valleys looked pretty much as we imagined those places. And in the Atacama Desert the moon has more to offer. There was a tunnel through a mountain of salt, a giant sand dune to climb, salt statues and in the end a beautiful view point from where we could see the sun set on the moon.
Besides the special place our guide was also quite special. He was an educated archaeologist with an impressive knowledge about geology but he was also drunk. And so, he staggered around and involved us into the world of geology.
The second day we went to the Laguna Baltinache. But as the tour bus broke down before he could even pick us up and some of the guests were super late, the tour didn’t work out as planned. But first the positive side. The salt lagoon looked like from another world. The water was turquoise and it was surrounded by a white salt crust. And when I finally entered the water, I could basically sit on its surface. It reminded me a lot of my trip to the dead sea.
But when I wanted to take a shower, they were already closed. And only after an intense discussion they managed to organize a big bottle of water I could shower with. The tour guide felt so sorry, that he even organized an apéro at a sunset place. And when the apéro was over he handed the almost full red wine bottle to us. This definitely helped to cheer up our minds.