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Mat and Vendy's travels

First days in Chile

CHILE | Thursday, 28 August 2008 | Views [782]

river crossing

river crossing

After our last morning on the Salt Plains, our jeeps took us to the border. Chile is much more modern than Bolivia and even from the border crossing it seemed to us that they try to distance themselves from the Bolivians. The Chilean boarder crossing is in San Pedro, 45km away from the Bolivian one. And on the way there, we had to fill in lots of forms, including a declaration that we are not bringing any food or plant or animal products into the country. Then they searched all our bags. As usual, we had lots of food on us, so I had to declare it all. I did it, expecting them to throw everything away, but the officer did not seem to care at all. So we still have 3 bags of Bolivian fried beans - a great snack!

 Now we are in San Pedro de Atacama, it is a very small town in the middle of the desert, most of it obviously made for tourists.

The biggest problem here is that there are only 2 cashpoints, and they dont work! Nobody here seems bothered and when we ask when they will work again people just shrug and say ´maybe tomorrow´. This is fine, unless you have no chilean money and only a few dollars to change up!

If you don't want to spend all day sitting in cafes and restaurants, there is not much to do, so we rented bikes today and discovered that there is quite a lot to see outside San Pedro. Besides, the weather during the day is great, warm and sunny (the nights are very cold though -  typical desert weather). We are planning to go running tomorrow morning and after lunch, we are going to La Serena, which is a 17-hour bus journey. Armed with good books to read, lots of food and my beloved blanket (I'm getting rather attached to it in this weather), we are hoping it won't be as bad as it sounds :)

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