February 14, 2018
Dan Pedo de Atacama, Chile
We left Antofagasta early. The distance for today is rather short by design. We are hoping to get there quickly and go to the desert. We shall see.
The road from Antofagasta rises from the ocean up to 11,000 feet. Steady riding thru the different mining towns.
Northern Chile is one huge mining concern. In one form or another everyone makes a living from the mining industry. The biggest town around here is Calama which is a copper and zinc mining. Send it down to Antofagasta fir shipping worldwide.
To do the extraction of copper huge mountains of tailings are created… sure would like to see the hole where it all came from. One complaint is that the mining takes all the water. But no one says anything as they all depend on the mining industry.
So we climb to 11,000 feet. On the other side… holly smokes!! It’s a lunar landscape! You are looking down on the driest place on this earth. The Atacama Desert. Oddly, from here you can see the volcano El Laskar (spelling?) all covered in snow as well as other peaks in snow. The driest and the most wet, side by side.
As it turns out they call any rains “Bolivian winter” (which Bolivians hate), because the rains originating in Brazil first go thru Bolivia cooling down and dropping the water in Chile.
The Atacama Desert is truly spectacular for the inconsistencies you find.
We went into the Desert to the Valley of the Moon… yes, like the name says. A lunar landscape! Found some caverns to explore … not much, but a real, live experience.
Headed back to town to have dinner among ten million hippy tourists. This seems a mecca to attract adventurers.
San Pedro de Atacama seems a town we’re all seems – only seems – unfinished, with the Adobe walls, unpainted, no sidewalks and in paved streets. Don’t kid yourself! It’s a facade, enter any door and you encounter the most modern and luxurious of facilities… no wonder things hotels, all booked! are expensive.
We are staying on the edge of town, kind of like the “boonies” having to walk close to a mile … not cheap! Reason why we are blowing this “fancy taco-stand”.
Early tomorrow we shall head to Iquique, by the coast, that story… tomorrow.
The Road to Atacama… well it is a DESERT. Much mining industry and equipment on the road
La Casa Esteban. And what a place owned by the daughter (89) of Chilean Soldier who fought in the War between Peru and Chile. Peru took a shellacking on that one, loosing Iquique ans Arica.
A few desert images, of the Desert, and the Valle de la Luna. It is really a desert! 8,000 ft of elevation. We enter some deep caverns…so dark, you would not see your hand
The City Of San Pedro De Atacama – a city which is a spring board for anyone wanting adventure and exploration in the Cordilleras between Chile and Bolivia
Impossible to travel to a high desert and not have some SUNSET pictures… my best part of the day!