Welcoming smiles, a happy laid-back attitude, cleanliness, tourist-friendliness and internet that works in an instant…ah, Chile, I’m glad to be back. Even if I can’t really understand this strange lazy-Spanish in which you all speak! I’ve said numerous times that people make all the difference, and it was really refreshing to have conversations and smiles with Klair and Kelly. 🙂
We’re still quite high but less-so than in Bolivia, so it’s really quite hot in the day, and the sun is more-extreme-than-dangerous according to the sign:
The little group of us stayed together for the next few days, and the first activity (I’m excited to report) was a bit of stargazing in a clear night’s sky, with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable telescope-wielder. Out came my not-so-inner geek: So many objects to capture the imagination! The clear-cratered shadowed edge of the horizontal crescent moon sinking down to the horizon; Uranus; Jupiter rising with 4 of its moons in perfect alignment; blue stars; yellow stars; red stars; a blue dwarf; the Pleiades; the Orion nebula; the pinwheel galaxy; the tarantula nebula; the Magellanic clouds…awesome!
Next up, the valle de la luna to watch the changing subtle colours at sunset. Got sand in my camera and since then it’s not too happy switching itself off… 😦
And finally another 4am start to see simple algae (like the beginnings of life on Earth) at the El Tatio geysers in icy -5 degrees, followed by a paddle in some warm/hot thermal waters.
We all went our separate ways after this, me on a 24hr bus ride across the Atacama and down half the length of Chile to Santiago and Valparaíso, ready for some city time again, past numerous wind farms – well done Chile!