Days… 7-8? Awestruck in Atacama

It’s very hard for me to write these posts without the ability to show you what we are seeing. So I’m going to keep the descriptions brief and make you wait until I get home to post tons of pictures (I’ve taken 819 thus far). And I apologize for the formatting, I’m having to type in notepad and then copy and paste. But I digress.

Saturday we drove all over the desert again, but this time went t a flamingo reservation where we saw two species living harmoniously. Then we drove up to two gorgeous blue-green lagoons nestled in between the regions major volcanos, the most recent of which erupted in 2006. We made several shorter stops along the way to take in the culture of the region and had a good day.
We went to bed early because Sunday started at 4:30am in order to drive almost two hours straight up to a geyser field. It is most active in the morning, hence the insane departure hour. They were worth it though and we had breakfast among the eruptions. Then we drove over to a hot springs and were able to take a bath to warm up! We were at 14,763 feet at this point, which is about 2.8 miles above sea level, making it quite cold before sunrise and cold after 🙂 This is also now the highest I’ve been to date.
After the geysers, we stopped in a super cute village and had fresh beef kabob, goat cheese empanadas, and sopapillas… Yum! In the afternoon we napped and then borrowed bikes from our compound and cruised the streets of San Pedro. This was one of my favorite parts of our time here because we could explore at our own pace. We stopped by several artisan markets, cruised the main plaza, watched a local football (soccer) game, etc.
Then we enjoyed a delicious dinner in town before heading out to star gazing! My two favorite parts of this were seeing Sagittarius, my zodiac sign, and seeing the rings of Jupiter. Being in the Southern Hemisphere allowed us to see a different sky than I’m used to, which was fun. We finally walked home and went to bed around 1am. This morning we are up and heading back to Calama to catch our flight to Santiago. We are low on cash (the ATMs ran out) and energy from the lack of sleep, but all feeling very blessed to have seen this indescribable scenery in northern Chile.
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