Feeling quite run down after a very restless night!! I heard people speak of the affects of high altitudes but one cannot really comprehend until you experience it yourself. After a wash of the face a cup of coffee I was ready to attack day two of the atacama. Chewing on cocoa leaves didnt really give me the relief I was expecting, but when in Rome.
First stop was some amazing rock formations in the middle of absolute desert. I feel as though I'm throwing the word desert around quite liberally but to be present at a destination of such intense isolation was really phenomenal. Climbing over them for some great shots and checking out the famous "tree rock" - cool s***!
Winding our way at high speeds through the desert with the other tour jeeps flying ahead made me feel as though I was a part of a new land rover advertisement. Stunning scenery!
Got an epic jump photo!
Stopped at two more beautiful salt lagoons similar to the previous day. The second we ate lunch at. Not a bad view at all. Sure beat sitting in the team room at vision, or the old smoko seats at shire steel.
After lunch we drove for a decent period to the perfect viewing spot of a huge volcano. Still active apparently.
Our last stop was quite possibly one of my favorites so far. A train line in the centre of baron desert, separating the two countries: one side chile, the other Bolivia- really awesome. Was in for some excitement when a train coincidently was steaming through! I didn't even know it was still in use!? All the other tourists cleared the tracks to get some photos of the passing train but I had other plans... When the train loomed closer I moved up to a slow jog and by the time it had caught up with me I was in full flight spring running beside the train. Hooting at the top of my voice while the driver sounded his horn and another guy in the cabin gave me the thumbs up was a huge adrenalin rush! I was f***ed from the altitude...
Stopped at a small cafe for our first Bolivian beer before heading to our accommodation for the night. Bit of a f*** around because the hotel where our driver had intended us to stay was completely full... Not the most professionally conducted tour I'd been on but it definitely didnt take away from the amazing sights and experiences of the previous days. Got to our second choice accommodation and was happy to see alot of other guys from the tour also. so the "hotel" was made entirely of salt.. The walls, the tables, the beds even the floor was pure salt... Really made you feel as though you were somewhere less travelled seeing something that the select few that would have been there before me would have appreciated it to the same extent. Ate a nice dinner and played cards and drank a few bottles of wine till bed time. Really enjoyed the company of my group: bob, Bruno and the English girls were alot of fun. The guys got in a little argument with our guide Richard over our intended departure time for the next day. We were all keen to hit the road as early as possible were Richard was trying to find excuses to make it later which ultimately meant we would miss the sunrise... They came to an agreement to leave earlier but we still wouldn't be at the salt flats for sunrise. Neither Richard or the guys were thrilled about the plan but I was confident that it was going to be awesome regardless. Chatted for a while with a young kiwi couple before hitting the hay. Fingers crossed it would be better then the previous night.
STOKED!!! slept like a baby :)
(In my salty bed)