[for the previous part]
What to do (continues):
- Laguna Chaxa. An endless field of rugged crystals, interrupted here and there by reddish-brownish lagoons. Right in the middle of Salar de Atacama, this place is everything but what you would expect a salt flat to look like. Going there at sunset will allow you to witness three varieties of flamingos (James, Andean and Chilean) having breakfast and prevent you from getting sunburnt.
- Lagunas Altiplanicas. Our first taste of the jaw dropping Andean landscape at more then 4000 m above sea level. Where the contrast between white sand, celeste water and red rocks steal the show at Piedras Rojas, volcanoes and dreamy clouds in a navy blue sky reflecting in the brackish waters and bright yellow bushes, scattered all over vast dry lands, will make you fall for Laguna Miscanti and Miñiques. Gusting wind shaking you bones and a burning sun warming up your skin.
- Toconao. A small “traditional” village in between the Laguna Altiplanicas and San Pedro de Atacama. Nothing to really die for, however, seeing a llama walking in and out a gift shop while greedily chewing crisps, was somehow an unexpected and quite amusing show.
- El Tatio geyser field. Get ready to freeze! The tour leaves at night in order to reach the world’s third biggest geothermal field at dawn. Even though, back then, I thought it was utterly stupid (and also quite evil) to be there at 6 AM, there’s actually a reason why the tours are organised this way: the minus 0 temperature makes the steam produced by the 80 active geysers condensate and creates a quite unique sight. Before heading back you will also be shown the bird paradise of Vado Putana wetlands and will have a chance to try out delicious llama skewers and cheese empanadas at the 7 people inhabited Machuca village.
Things we missed: Ceyar lagoon, Tera salt flat and an astronomical tour. After 4 days spent there, we really felt like our wallets were getting way too light, and, somehow, felt the urge to carry on with the journey.
Who deserve a big thank you: Katharina and Kevin for unawarely being our tour buddies (3/3!) and for sharing our same taste in landscape pictures. Nancy, for being a very caring, yet intense, host. Cheryl, for making the tours incredibly hilarious and interesting.
Canon EOS 300, Lomography CN 100 (35)
LC-A+, Agfa CT Precisa 100 / Fuji Superia 200 (35)
Olympus OM-1, Agfa Scala 200 (35, expired)
29-30/12/2016, San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)