While Torres del Paine and Patagonia at Chile’s southern tip get heaps of inspiring coverage (including by us, here), the stark Atacama desert at the northern end of the elongated … Read more
The Atacama Desert of Northern Chile is the driest place on earth. There are some places in the Atacama where it has not rained in over 400 years. These are … Read more
The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest place on earth. In some places, it hasn’t rained in over 400 years. In general, it looks like this, although this … Read more
The Tatio geysers in the high Atacama Desert at dawn, with rising crescent moon. Atacama Desert, Chile. May 2011. We took a four hour bus ride from San Pedro de … Read more
When you think of just how dry and forbidding the Atacama desert is, you wonder why the hell anyone would live there. Maybe it makes sense now, because there are things like highways and trucks and bottled water you can bring in from a distance. And maybe now because there are vast deposits of copper and other minerals there, and the export of those minerals is to Chile what oil is to Saudi Arabia.
Our weekend trip to San Pedro de Atacama was a little anti-climactic for me. Evidently, I had eaten something which didn’t agree with me sometime during the previous week and it sort of came on all of a sudden–and I do mean all of a sudden–on our second day of a three day trip. So, I did manage to see the geysers on day one, and the archeological sites on day three, but missed the Moon and Death Valleys on day two. Hell, I like geysers and ruins as much as the next guy, but abject desolation is really fascinating. And that’s what I missed.