Sat at 2600m above sea level in one of the driest deserts in the world is San Pedro De Atacama. The journey although not the longest by far was definitely the most exhausting. Although only 10hrs, in that time we had to climb up to the final height of 14000+ feet above sea level. It soon became obvious of the pressure impact that such an ascent has, as packets of crisps began to explode and bottles on being opened sprayed all over the bus. One can only imagine what is happening to your vital organs at this point At the Argentina/Chile border crossing we felt the impact on our bodies as breathing became more laboured, some people were sick and some had to be attended to by the bus driver. Quite amusing as his answer was just to ply them with mate, a drink similar to coffee which the Argentinians go mad for.
Eventually we got to San Pedro, had to do the Chilean border crossing here and then were left to walk the dusty roads into the town in search of some place to lay our heads. We finally stumbled across the hostel we are in now which was not only cheap but very nice with all the buildings built out of mud.
As we walked through the town we bumped into most of the people off the bus we took to get here. As such we headed out for dinner with them all and decided to meet up the following day to do a spot of sandboarding. Reet decided to stay at home as to get to the sandboarding dunes (Valle De La Muerte - valley of death) we needed to go by bike. After a gruelling ride there in the desert ´sunshine´ we were greeted by some massive sand dunes and given my lack of experience in this sport I admit to being slightly nervous. Great morning had though and sandboarding turned out to be easier than first thought.
That afternoon we had a sunset trip booked to the Valle De La Luna (Valley of the moon) and this time the trip did occur according to the original schedule and we got there well in advance of sunset. We took a few walks prior to getting to the main valley. All of which were spectacular and unlike anything we´d seen before. Photos must be seen.
The following day we relaxed, updated our blog and prepped ourselves ready for an early get up and set off for our 4x4 trip to Bolivia. This meant we would be saying goodbye to Chile for the last time (on this trip at least) and Hello to Bolivia, things get real poor, the water undrinkable and the altitude increased from here on in.