Chile - Minus 16 degrees in the desert

With only two weeks in Chile, I didnt spend much time there. But with what I have seen in such a short amout of time makes me want to go there again. The Atacama desert is a place that was often described as being on a different planet, and yes, it definately felt like that.

16.9.2016 - Valparaiso
Yesterday I came with the 5 hours flight from Easter Island via Santiago to Valparaiso. This harbour city here is really nice and walking up and down the streets along the hill is exciting, as every corner and building looks completely different.
With a big bus from Santiago to Valparaiso its a relaxing ride in the morning.

Checkin the hotelroom, having a quick coffee and getting ready for hiking Valparaiso.

The streets of Valparaiso. In the backround the hill with its thousands of small houses, overlooking the harbour.

The harbour front.

I like the many graffity everywhere on the buildings and the walls.

So many buildings with graffity.

Arriving up here with the cable car to have a great view over Valparaiso.

Sometimes very steep roads.

17.9.2016 - Valparaiso back to Santiago
After two days in Valparaiso it was time to get back to Santiago yesterday. I had now two days to visit the capital Santiago and tomorrow I will fly to the Atacama desert in the north of Chile. It definately wasnt a good weather to explore Santiago, cause when its so cloudy it looks too grey and its impossible to see the Andes mountain chains in the background of the city.

Inside of mercdo central. The biggest market of Santiago.

View from Castillo Hidalgo

Castillo Hidalgo is a small castle in the middle of the city.

Streets around Barrio Bellavista.

The view from Cerro San Cristóbal.

Too bad its such a cloudy weather. Or else it would be such a nice view with the Andes mountains in the background of the city.

These days was public holidays.

Thats why so many people having fiesta on the streets.

17.9.2016 - Arriving in the Atacama desert
To get into the Atacama desert the easiest option is flying to Calama and continue towards San Pedro. I decided to hire a car at the airport so that I can make a stop wherever I want and take photos from these unique sceneries along the road.

Flying from Santiago to Calama.

Entering the Atacama desert very soon after leaving Calama.

The further drive goes, the more the scenery looks like being on the moon.

Sunset over the Atacama desert onto the so called "Moon Valley".

The white thing that looks like snow is salt.

18.9.2016 - El Tatio on 4300m, minus 16 degrees
Today I got up around 4 in the morning to drive with the rental car to the Geyser El Tatio. It was pitch black when I started driving and thankfully there were other cars driving to that destination. Although soon I realized the altitude is constantly rising and when arriving in El Tatio, I basically came from 0 meters (Valparaiso) to 500m (Santiago) to 2500m (Atacama) to 4300m (El Tatio), all within two days and I definately felt it!! Together with the minus 16 degrees up there, altitude sickness really kicked in! However, after returning down to 2500m in the afternoon, I thankfully got better slowly :).

From 2500 meters to 4300 meters up to Geyser El Tatio.


Driving with a car up to 4300meters is not such a funny thing, especially when altitude sickness starts harrasing. Geyser El Tatio on 4300meters.

Freezing cold. Good to have the boiling water to heat up the hands in the steam.

In a few minutes the sun starts rising behind the hills.

The birds like having footbath in the hot water.

It was a real challenge to fake a smile with high altitude sickness and minus 16 degrees :)

Next to the Geyser there was this thermal bath.

Driving back towards 2500meters in San Pedro de Atacama.

The town Machuca on the way back from El Tatio.

With my altitude sickness I wasnt in the mood to drink coffee or eat cookies like these people.

Maybe on the Moon it looks like that in 200 years?

Strolling around San Pedro in the afternoon, trying to cure my altitude sickness with something to eat.

After eating, I felt the strenght coming back and I was in the mood to make photos of... a church :)

It was national holiday in Chile and they had a big fiesta, also in San Pedro de Atacama.

This BBQ was the place where I had dinner and it was one of the best BBQ ive ever had.

The roads in San Pedro de Atacama. It doesnt look like, but its very hot here during the day on 2500meters, but in the evening freezing cold.

The white stuff is salt.

Climbing up to the "moon valley" to see the sunset.

Some bicyclists along the road probably sometimes hate the cars, as they throw up all the salt into their faces :)

People waiting for the sunset on the mountain.

19.9.2016 - Driving in the south of Atacama

Salt everywhere.

Last glimpse on the Moon Valley.

Driving back to Calama airport.

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