The wild west city San Pedro de Atacama
Finally back in civilization. At least that is how it felt after the Uyuni trip.
First things we noticed after arriving in San Pedro were:
1st Chile is way more expensive than Bolivia, almost equally expensive as Western Europe
2nd it is also way more advanced.
And the second point was something that made us really happy, as we finally had clean hot water showers, clean rooms and additionally a wonderful Mediterranean climax as we were not that high anymore (in sense of altitude).Hence it kinda felt we were suddenly spending holidays in a touristy village, somewhere in Andalusia, during spring. This was exactly what we needed after our short but cold adventure. So for our first day we simply planned to do…wait for it…nothing but chill and take advantage of a fully functioning high speed wifi connection. San Pedro is a very relaxed but touristy place but for us the perfect place at that time.
The next day we decided to not completely waste on beautiful wifi, that’s why we rented 3 bikes at our hostel, (the puritama hostal) for 3000 Cp per bike. With the bikes and one sand board we headed to “valle de la muerte” a beautiful desert valley with high dunes and a nice rocky moonlike landscape. I soon figured out why it is called “Valle de la muerte” (valley of death) because I barely managed to get there alive. After very exhausting 5 kilometers on a bike in sweltering heat, I was closer to death than I was during the freezing cold night at our Uyuni trip.
At the valley our young friend, who seemed to deal with the sun and the sports activities way better than me, tried sanboarding whilst we were just wandering, trying to survive and taking some fotos. I skipped the sand boarding part as I head been before in Huacachina, Peru (not because I was dying slowly) and there I figured out that it is not half as much fun as snowboarding but rather a pain in the ass when you have to carry your board up the dunes all the time. I repeat, in the heat of the desert. No fun!! (maybe it was not that hot after all but at that moment it felt like it was hot as hell)
After getting a decent sun stroke in the valley I was happy to be back in the lovely Puritama hostal. Unfortunately I did not have the pleasure to see the “Valle de la luna” (Moon valley) but I am almost certain that it is pretty cool, so go for it if you have the time and no sun stroke or hitch hike for it, like our friend did.
For the next day we booked our bus to la Serena with ciktur for 25000cp.
And what a surprise ciktour is my new favorite bus company ahead of Cruz del Sur. A lovely salon Cama and several features made the 17 hour ride to la Serena to be rather a night at a spa hotel, especially compared to what we had to bear up in the last weeks in Bolivia. Next stop Germany in South America.