Hello all! Well another week has passed so its time to update you all on what we´ve been up to!
Following Mendoza we got a bus to La Serena which is a beach resort on the north west coast of Chile. We spent a couple of days relaxing on the beach, catching up with our own journals we´re doing and generally relaxed! We also went to see Lovely Bones at the cinema and had a full box KFC! awesome!
From La Serena we took an overnight bus last monday to San Pedro De atacama which is a dessert in the north east of Chile that borders with Bolivia and Argentina.We had been looking forward to this place due to the activities on offer and the good reports we had heard. Fortunately it didn´t disappoint! Our hostel was very good with a double bedroom and small porch with table and chairs outside. The bathrooms were big and some of the cleanest we´ve seen so it was nice to get off the bus and feel refreshed again!!
After, a few days of junk and snack food we went for a three course meal at one fo the best restaurants nearby. I had garlic mushrooms that came out on fire with a 30cm flame, followed by one of the best steaks i´ve ever had and a chocolate mousse for pudding - good budget travelling food! Lol despite it being a bit more expensive than usual it still only came to around 8pounds each!
On wednesday we went sandboarding on a dune in the dessert. The views were stunning and having done some wakeboarding I took to it averagely well. However, my early confidence had its drawbacks in the fact that on my second run after being on the practice slope I went to the highest point on the dune! Subsequently, despite doing the first bit well I tried turning left which is my weakness (I discovered) and did a few summersaults down the hill!! However, the sand was really soft and unlike wakeboarding as soon as I managed to stop tumbling I pretty much managed to keep going so all was good!Following a few more tumbles and some good runs we went to the ´Valle de la Luna´or moon valley which is a barren rocky/sandy/hilly part of the dessert! As the sun sets the rocks change colour from red to orange then purple creating some spectacular views. Finally as it gets dark the land turns a shade of white and the effect of being on the moon is created and hence its name! A really good thing was that our guide took us to a secluded spot where it was just us, another good thing was that he bought pisco sour with him (alcholic bitter drink like Pomada in menorca) but bad thing was we then needed to climb back down the steep ascent!!
Thursday was a very early start - at 4am we took a tour to see the geysers in the mountains 4320m above sea level! Also, we failed to read the information given to us on booking and were severly under dressed which resulted in us being absolutely freezing as the temperatures before sunset were -5! we had boiled eggs cooked on the heat of the geysers for breakfast before our tour started! Geysers are holes in the floor where steam/boiling water spurt from due to the lava below. It was incredible! We also got the chance to go in a thermal rock pool and I was one fo the only ones to go in despite the cold as I thought I may as well! Getting out however, at 8am when the sun is only just coming out and the temperature is still fresszing wasn´t so fun!
On Friday we had another early start as we left San Pedro at 8am on a three day tour to Uyuni which took us through the dessert, national park in bolivia and the worlds largest salt flats in Uyuni! On the first dasy we saw lagoons that changed colours such as turqoise and red due to the minerals as well as ones that fluctuaed between normal water and pure white. One lagoon was known for its reflection and lay in front of a huge mountain. As a result the images were amazing and I have never seen water reflact an image quite like it! That night we stayed in the middle of nowhere in the dessert in a small refuge like building. Dinner was basic but good and an astronomer on our tour taught us about the stars!
The second day was spent seeing flamencos, a rocky pathway created by the lava form a volcano and a small salt flat. The second night described as a ´good hotel´turned out to be a very very basic hostel! A room with a bed and no light, stone floor and no lock on the door or handle failed to reach our expectations! However, we got on with it and today we visited the salt flats!
We left this morning at 5am and watched sunset over the uyuni salt flats. The white land spread as far you could see in every direction! After sunrise we went to a smalkl island in the middle of the salt flat that was full of cacti where we had pancackes and dulce de leche for breakfast! The rest of today was spent getting some amazing photos on the salt due to perspective being hard as everything was white it was fun to see how on camera we could look the same size as an apple! We also visited a salt hotel, local market and rather wierdly a train cementry where I found two metal wheels on an axel that I could run on as it rolled along the disued track! good fun!
Just checked into our hotel that is surprisingly very good. Big room, own bathroom and clean!! Booked our bus to Potosi for the morning and now just catching up on the real world online!
Sorry for such a long message but has been a very busy week!
Love to all byeee xxxxxxxxxxx