February 28, 2009

Chile Atacama San Pedro de Atacama

The Atacama Desert (70,000 square miles) is the driest desert on earth. When Nicola spouted this "fact", I had my doubts. When it started "raining" (a few drops), I said a bit sarcastically "What, raining in the driest place on earth?" But when I got back and checked on wikipedia, it stated that several reliable sources claim this to be true. The Atacama desert is 50 times drier than Death Valley and there are sections of soil that contain NO microbial life.
Nicola led us on a quick orientation of the sleepy village of San Pedro de Atacama, an oasis in the Atacama Desert and jumping off spot for tourist activities. Our local guide was Oscar of Cosmos Aninos Expediciones. Instead of ocean surfing, sand surfing is a popular sport.

We passed by a quaint Spanish church before setting off for lunch in a fun local restaurant.
We had a few hours for a siesta before setting off for our late afternoon excursion to the Valley of the Moon.

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