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Old 04-11-2013, 07:54 AM   #70
camitzi OP
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Vancouver BC
Oddometer: 94
Salar de Atacama

We got to San Pedro de Atacama (now we were down to 2440 m altitude) and we were pleasantly surprised: a nice little town with narrow dirt streets and beautiful old style buildings. We checked in a nice hotel and we went out for dinner. The waiter there saw we were tourists (just like the majority of the people there) and we were inquiring about things to do, so he gave us a brochure with all the good things to see around. So we decided that the next day we would do Los Geysers del Tatio and Valle de la Luna.

On the way up to the geysers we were surprised to see the frozen water, as it didnít seem that cold.

The Geysers were amazing. It was incredible to see that hot water bursting out of the desert.

Of course the child in me didnít give up until I tried to see how hot the water really was and I managed to burn my finger

And this is Vasile steaming. I didnít realize I made him that angry

So to be safe, I hooked him up on a rock

And here are the mud pools

There was a hot pool too where we couldíve swum, but as the temperatures outside were not too friendly, we skipped that.

On the way we saw a multitude of wildlife among which the pink flamingos, vicunas with their little ones, llamas, viscacha and some other interesting birds. I noticed vicunas are more sensitive to human presence than the motorcycle presence. On the bikes we could go very close to them and they didnít seem to be bothered too much. When I got off the bike, as I wanted to take a better picture with the little vicuna and I thought I could go closer as I would not make as much noise as the bike, they sensed me from far away and ran away, so I had to zoom in a lot, therefore the picture is not the best quality.

And a very protective duck male with his little ones.

We passed by big snow-capped volcanoes, and one of them was active, we could actually see the smoke coming out of its chimney. It could have been maybe Lascar, as thatís the most active volcano in Chile.

And since we were here, I thought I could try Vasileís bike for a bit...while on the side stand, as I have no chance otherwise Ė I have more than one foot clearance to the ground

And then we went to Valle de la Luna where we went through the Salt Cave.

Turns out Salar de Atacama is not just a salt flat, itís a whole salt mountain! In this trip we managed to see the two biggest Salares (Salt Flats) in the world: Salar de Uyuni and Salar de Atacama.

It was just magnificent! Despite the low temperatures we really enjoyed it. But now we are due for some sun and beaches
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