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Friday, February 4, 2011

THE ATACAMA DESERT - BUT NOT THE DAKAR

We are finally in Chile (pronounced Chil-lay.....). We have changed our clocks by 2 hours so now we have very long evenings. The days are hot, and the nights cold. This is the dryest desert in the world (or so my book says)
It is an amazing drive, and NO it is not all flat & boring. There are massive hills and valleys that we have to wind up and down. Before we leave the beachside town of Arica we do a detour to see some geoglyphs on the hills. These are huge pictures etched on the hills, probably used as route markers. Actually we find heaps more later on in our drive.
There are also 100's of mines in the desert. (They are the reason Chile went to war with Peru & Bolivia - Chile wanted the mineral wealth). Anyway we visited a fantastic old nitrate mine & town called Humberstone.
Another amazing site was the city of Iquique set right on the waterfront below huge desert cliffs. There was some very expensive beachfront real estate here, right in the middle of nowhere. Of course there have been heaps of gorgeous beaches and lots of busy ports shipping out Chile's wealth. Some of these have been a bit rough and downright ramshackle, but great to pass through.
Then of course we had to stop at Mano del Desierts (the huge granite hand) for a photo shoot- we now have a new brochere picture for SLR Motorhomes.
Finding camp spots in GR2 has been a breeze. Either at the beach or in desert we just find a quiet spot and drive off road.

1 comment:

  1. Lynda so great to keep up with your travels......this much be heaps easier for you and great for us to enjoy your travels real time. Oh yeah and get jealous even more often LOL. Looks like you're having an awesome time and great that GR2 is meeting the challenges.

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