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Riding across Atacama Desert

CHILE | Tuesday, 6 April 2010 | Views [971] | Comments [2]

In my first day in San Pedro de Atacama, I was overwhelmed by all the possible tours that I could do… but finally I decided to rent a bicycle… I could ride in the driest place on earth and reach some of the closest attractions.

I made around 50 kilometers in total, carrying just with my camera and a bottle of water. I was stupid enough to carry the bottle of water in a plastic bag… of course the plastic bag broke in the first bump as soon as I left the paved road… but I managed to tie the bottle with the bike chain. That proved to be sufficient, the bottle fell from time to time… but I was proud of my survival instinct… not so much of my initial stupidity!

This day, I realized how varied this place was! I saw caves, dunas, amazing rock formations. I also walked accross a small cannon, where the rocks on the sides were cracking… I got a bit scared about that, I was in Chile so I thought it was a little earthquake! Later I was told that the cracking was due too the difference of temperature between day and night, which made the rocks dilate and contract… While I heard the cracking, those rocks reminded me of the glacier… after all, not only the glacier is moving and transforming, also these rocks, and probably everything is moving and transforming, some things are just faster than others…

I stayed at the Moon’s Valley for the sunset, as I heard it was very beautiful. And it was!.... The only problem is that it was 16 kilometers away from town, so I rode back home while it was getting darker and darker… At the end, it was totally dark! Fortunately I had reached the paved road by then, so there were no more bumps in my way and only the while road lines and the stars could be seen. That was an amazing feeling… but the way was long, and I focused to keep a good pace, as it was getting colder very quickly... When I arrived close to San Pedro, the paved road turned into a path, and my bottle immediately fell down to the floor... Then, I could hardly see anything, so it was time to walk with the bicycle… tired from the long journey… and stopping from time to time to watch the stars… in one of the best places in the world to see them… feeling how big the universe can be, and how small we are compared to it…

I dind’t see all the sights of San Pedro de Atacama… but I wouldn’t change my bike journey for any of the tours!



He he hehe... la historia de la bolsa con algo adentor y despues rompiendose en el piso me suena conocido ! ahi estas pintao !

  Fer Apr 8, 2010 6:52 AM


hehehe... ya me acuerdo yo tb!.. me parece que sobrevaloro la resistencia de las bolsas! hay q trabajar en ello..

  julio_martinez Apr 8, 2010 12:04 PM



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