PAN AMERICAN JOURNEY PART XXIV – NORTHERN CHILE
For miles and miles, Northern Chile is notorious for it’s sun-cracked landscape! With no trees or water in sight, the Atacama desert is covered with salty plains, sand and rocky terrain, making it feel like your on Mars! It’s the driest non-polar desert in the world and surprisingly there’s no lack of wildlife!
The coast, like the interior is totally dry. But at least on the coast, the hot and isolated white sand beaches collide with the icy Humboldt current, making the temperatures bearable. Talking about icy, we made a little trip out to the west to see a park full of high snowy peaks called the Tres Curzes. We climbed a 6000m mountain one day, and the next day we were soaking in the natural hot springs along side a salty ice-cold lake called Lago Verde. Not only did we meet a whole lot bunch of friendly Europeans but we also encountered several not-so-wild foxes who came right up to us! But still the funniest were the backward-knee-bending flamingos who run on the water’s surface before they lift off….check out the photo! :)
Now we happened to get lucky this time around, and wadda ya know, we happened to cross the DAKAR race route…..on the final day of the race!! So of course we stopped to check out the crazy drivers! And later that night the final event took place in Valledupar where we met one of the Czech Tatra truck teams, the Bonver Dakar Project! So they invited us to come along with them, I think our mean ol’beast of a van must have had an impression on them! ;-) Ohhh and the Pilsner Urquell Beer from Czech that they shared with us never tasted so good…..home sweet home!
Off to Santiago the capital of Chile and zoom zoom over the boarder to the last country on our list…..Argentina!