We arrived in the sunny desert town of San Pedro de Atacama (altitude 2440m) this afternoon after a 24hr bus journey. We got on the bus, called a semi cama which means revolving seats with a nice amount of leg room, at 3.30pm in Santiago and stopped at the towns of La Serena, Antofagasta, Calama before arriving here. The journey was better than expected considering we were both quite hungover from our last night in Chile and too much pisco. The only problem was that our seats were at the very back near the toilet which started to smell near the end - nice hey! The best bit of the journey was getting snacks and driving along the Panamericana Highway through the atacama desert. We drove past the 11 metre high sculpture called Mano del Desierto which is a hand in the desert, at an altitude of 1,100m and was constructed by chilean artist Mario Irarrazabal in 1992. We saw lots of alpacas and an amazing sunrise this morning. Our hostel, called Iquis Hostel, is cool and thankfully only 10 pound a night for both of us because San Pedro is an expensive little village.
Tomorrow there is a big party in the village called Fiesta de San Pedro y San Pablo which is a religious festival celebtrated with folk dancing groups, a rodeo and solemn processions. We saw them practising today when we arrived and tonight there is a party in the main square which should be good. We've just bought our bus ticket for the 12hr bus to Salta in Argentina on Tuesday. We were really lucky because we got the last seats, thankfully not by the toliet too! Just going to join the celebrations in the streets tomorrow and then maybe do a tour of the desert on Monday. There are lots of lovely jumpers and ponchos here but it's all too expensive for us, apparently Bolivia is the place to buy cheap clothes so we'll wait until then. We´ll need to wrap up well tonight though cause it drops to -3 when the sun goes down.
Lots of love xxxxx