If I remember well, we got up at 4 o’clock in the morning so that we could reach geysers before daybreak. The best moment to see them is at sunrise. As you can see, we made it on time.
Then we went a bit farther to have some breakfast. Before our toothless Indian prepared a meal we could take a bath in hot springs, as you can see it in the pictures. We are still in the desert, very high above sea level and it’s very cold at night; the ground in the vicinity of the basin is covered with ice.
We are getting closer to the Chilean border. On our way we go past beautiful, picturesque lagoons which, by their deep blue colour, contrast with the redness of the scorched desert. Some photographs show probably the most famous lagoon called Verde – meaning ‘green’ :-) We also meet teddy – a well-known globetrotter who wandered here at the same time we did. He was very nice and even agreed to pose for a photograph.
And the time has come to part from our American women, they go back to Uyuni and we are waiting for a bus which will take us to Chile, to a small town in the desert – San Pedro de Atacama.
Our friend, an expert in folk wisdom, starts his poetical career with this couplet:
We gave the Americans food and they did us no good!
Hardly had we crossed the border when a road turned into the asphalt one. What can I say, B L I S S F U L N E S S! I give you my word that I will never, never again complain about the Polish roads; perhaps they’re not as fine as the ones in Chile but, anyway, we do have roads in our country! In Bolivia, for a change, there are almost no asphalt roads at all!
We reached a place of our overnight accommodation in no time and wandered off to the city. On the left side you can see the oldest house in the town which was erected in 1520. It was a residence of the first royal governor of Chile – Pedro de Valdivia. Near to this historic building we make acquaintance with a local supplier of the green goddess. Buenas Noches.
We’ve got some spare time till noon; I go to hang about at the square where I meet our salesman friend. Apparently he’s bored and starts to teach me Spanish which I find very helpful. In this way I meet several of his clients who come and go in the meantime. A few such days more and I would speak Spanish fluently or the salesman could even fix me up with a job.
At 3 P.M. we go to a travel agency where the day before we booked a tour of the Valle de la Luna. In front of the office we are surprised by the breathtaking view of a guide. We follow her mesmerized!
Before we go to watch the sunset, we take a half hour stroll among these unique conditions of the nature and even visit another small cave.
Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on Earth! Our guide says that there are some areas here where, since the first research began, no precipitation has been ever observed! You have to admit that the region makes a great impression. So does the guide. From almost an hourlong conversation about Atacama I only remembered that Ana Maria had once a Czech boyfriend :).
I feel as if I were on a different planet and this impression will be even more heightened at the sunset. In my opinion, however, I think that the name of this region is inappropriate. Anyway, this is not the lunar landscape I would imagine; I would rather call this place the Martian Valley.
When we get off a bus in San Pedro it’s already dark. That was the last such a trip of this journey and now there’s nothing left in front of us but the way back... I feel odd... We have only just got off an airplane in Lima and now... it’s all over? Pity it’s the end...