Atacama, Chile Jet Lag Journal: Part Dos
Without further ado, the conclusion and Part Dos to the Atacama Jet Lag Journal–in which we embark on an epic last day filled with three amazing sights to behold.
On our last day in the desert, we got up before the crack of dawn actually to take an almost two hour bus trip to the Geysers del Tatio. Due to the elevation and with no sun, it was quite frigid. We were not properly dressed for it, but as most things go, it was still worth it.
I was surprised how close you can get to the geysers, and just how many they were in this single area. I’ve never had the chance in the US to see some out west, so I took in all the geysers I could (while trying not to freeze my butt off).
Next up was a small pueblo on the way to actual second destination, a small detour or add-on if you will. And small, it was. The pueblo really consists on tourism alone and needless to say, it’s not bringing in the tourists by the thousands. But my favorite part of the visit was the llamas.
Each llamas is marked by the various colors of yarn to denote which family claims ownership over them. I so desperately wish that someone would have sold the tassels of yarn on a keychain, as I totally would have bought one. My marketing brain was still on high alert even on vacation and miles away from the job. They were really quite beautiful and vibrant in their own personal way.
The next poignant stop on the day-filled excursions: The Dead Sea of Chile, a.k.a. Laguna de Cejar. This was a natural salt lake in the middle of the desert, and the strangest feeling I’ve ever felt was the natural flotation that occurs due to the high concentration of salt. The entire time I wanted to naturally tread water in place, but you have to force your body to just chill out and sit back and relax.
Perfectly timed on the trip is a stop at this natural fresh water sink hole, so to wash clean all the crusty dried salt. This picture is deceiving–that jump you see me making was actually the equivalent to a high dive board at an Olympic pool, I kid you not. I made the jump once and surprised myself with a yelp as I made the leap!
But no worries since there were pisco sours to pass the time while we just hung out. Waiting. And who can complain with that view in the background?
But it was a little nerve wracking only because I wanted to make sure we didn’t miss the sunset on the last stop we were to make. I kid you not that the entire bus had to be pulled out by an emergency truck that was called in and a handful of men to help shovel away at some of the compacted dirt.
I’d say there was an extra good hour thrown in for measure with this debacle, but with new foreign friends to chat with we were fine to watch the scene unfold.
Just take a look at the background. The scene says enough. Our last stop for the day, and we made it just in time to watch the shifting sun and sky have their go at a beautiful colorful dance. Salar de Atacama is the largest salt flat in Chile and with three volcanoes that watch over it, the sight is simply breath-taking as cliche as it sounds. I just can’t think of another word to explain it. I felt so peaceful and sublimely happy to have experienced everything I did in a single day, I tried to take it all in without forgetting a single detail.
If you happened to miss yesterday post on Part Uno, check it out here to see some of the other adventures we had. Without veering off too far into the “it was the best time in my life” and “I’ll never ever forget it” kind of wrap-up phrases even though they’re true, I’ll just say, if you’re even remotely close to Atacama while visiting South America, it would never ever be wrong to add on a few extras days to your trip and make the extra plane ride to this wondrous spot. I triple dog dare you to go and come back without a life-changing memory.