High and Dry

Ok, so maybe Chileans and Bolivians don’t like each other that much, but to make the border crossing so difficult and having us wait for more than 8 hours in the middle of the desert between Bolivia and Chile (the driest place in the world), without food and with a little drink, was very annoying. We thought this was to ‘bully’ the Bolivians, until we found out that Chilean customs were just on strike. However, now we have been enjoying the comfortable Chilean buses, beautiful landscapes and delicious empanadas for a few days!

Last time we ended in Sucre where we visited a ‘spectacular’ dino park the next day. One can still debate about the sounds (each dino had its own speaker that resounded loudly) and the colors, but the highlight was certainly the hundreds of footprints that were excellently preserved on a large plaque of limestone (in the middle of a still-exploited lime mine).

Beautiful landscapes and delicious empanadas!

We enjoyed all the nice streets and beautiful churches / monasteries in Potosi and then dived into the wild west at Tupiza on horseback. Like real cowboys, we crossed the desert-like landscape and it went surprisingly well (even though Erik preferred not to have something with a mind of its own between his legs). Unfortunately we didn’t look like the cowboys we thought we were, because we had to wear some kind of pot lid instead of a cowboy hat for safety as we were still “rookies”.

Erik preferred not to have something with a mind of its own between his legs

Starting from Tupiza, we did a 4-day tour that ended at the great salt flat of Uyuni, in the South of Bolivia. That was quite an experience, together with a bit of a crazy Chinese guy and an apathetic Australian we went from one colored lake to another for 4 days. The lakes were all occupied by bright pink flamingos, and on our way we came across geysers, mud volcanoes and real volcanoes. And that together with a very chill guide who liked to DJ in his 4×4, we enjoyed all these beautiful landscapes about 4000 m above sea level. The salt flat at the end was very special, miles of stretched white and nothing else on the horizon (which means you can also take very funny pictures.

After the miserable long border crossing we entered the Atacama desert, where we explored the Valle de la Luna on a mountain bike, with beautifully colored rock formations! Unfortunately we couldn’t do the star tour, because the full moon rose very nicely in the ‘moon valley’, making the sky too bright. We have now moved on to La Serena on the coast where we wanted to surf and where the weather always seems to be nice, but not this time. That’s why tomorrow we’re going to the wine district and we’re going to learn everything about Chilean wine and distilled pisco, never mind that surfing (haha of course not, we have Pichilemu for that) 😉

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