While living and studying in Chile, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to travel in Latin America. To be honest, I was just afraid of being in Santiago all the time because I didn’t know if I would go back to Chile one day. I believe that our life is too unpredictable and short to live it for future so I took advantage of this exchange and went for sometimes dangerous journeys which I would like to write about. In general my trips in Chile were safer than outside of this country and in this blog entry I would like to tell about the most amazing place which I visited in Chile – Atacama.
If someone asked me why is Chile so special for me, I would say that’s because the nature is very different in every part of the country. In Finland nature is pretty the same and the only difference is the extent of coldness. If we talk about Chile, you will find everything there depending on place: desert, snowy mountains, ocean, and volcanoes. The nature in Chile is not boring but it’s very bright and memorable. Atacama was a place where I had seen the beauty that I will never forget. Despite of the fact that I got sick with sinusitis and had high temperature and some difficulties connected to my state, I was very happy to be there.
I will start the story of this trip from very beginning. One day I had a talk with my Spanish friends and they offered to me to go to San Pedro de Atacama with them. At that time I had free from classes 3 days and accepted this proposal with pleasure. However, I wasn’t very lucky and got sick with sinusitis in a week. That was quite stressful. I was hesitating to take decision to go to Atacama. Actually I was hesitating to take any decision. I realized that I expected help and a piece of advice from someone in stead of fast taking decision and following the plan of actions. I spent too much time on stressing out. On unrelated matter, I learnt much about myself and my mistakes during this exchange. Life is not only studying theory but mostly practice. Getting back to my trip, I finally decided to go to Atacama and stepped on the board half-heartedly. My head was full of unneccessary thoughts if my decision is correct or not. So I was quite tonto (Spanish word for stupid) whatever decision you take, just be confident, otherwise, you will spend too much time on complaining in your head or out of loud.
After arriving to airport, we took a bus to the closest town to Atacama – San Pedro de Atacama. I remember my excitement when I first looked at the sky on our way to San Pedro. I’ve never seen so bright stars. I thought that I would be happy to live my last day somewhere under this amazing sky , looking up and wondering what will happen with me after my death. If beauty has ever brought tears at your eyes, you can understand the feeling. The same emotions I experienced in Atacama but I’ll tell about it later.
We arrived at our hostel very late and I realized that we were going to live in kind of bungalow for 4 days. I was ill and there was no heating, curtains instead of wall and sometimes only cold water. Sometimes it was freezing( around 0 at night). I didn’t have money for something more expensive to live in. Now looking back at that time, I think that it was an experience of my life haha
That’s how our hostel looked like
On the next day bus picked us up at 7 a.m. to take to Atacama Salt Flat and then to Los Flamencos National Resort. In the morning it was pretty cold but the weather in Atacama is changing the whole day. It can be freezing at night and very hot in midday. So we were supposed to go to the best view points in Salt Flat and then to national park by bus. We stopped several times for meal breaks. I’ve met interesting people during these breaks. I talked with one German guy who has gone around Latin America by bike. Can you just imagine it? Later I’ve met French people who traveled around the world for 2 years.
We were going along the desert quite fast passing by very dry soil and amazing animals. First that drawed my attention was so called in Spanish Vicuñas(kind of lama). They were lonely walking around this desolate place. I felt asleep for some time because I felt bad and woke up from excited screaming: Viscachas, viscachas. I looked at the window and saw little hairs which were very cute. These species live only in this part of the world and have their own charmJ
We stopped near the salt lakes to make photos and spent some time admiring these beautiful places. Water in lakes was crystal-clear blue and mountains were in ideal shape and looked quite unreal.
Then we went to the most popular place in Salt Flat - Los Flamencos National Resort. It was already quite late and I was tired and didn’t expect something special. I thought that I had already seen enough amazing places but I was mistaken. In park there is only one and very narrow path. Before this walk our guide instructed us about silence and not stepping behind the path, not to disturb nature. We were slowly walking and staring at wonderful mountains which seemed to be pink because of the sunset. This background was suitable to pink-pink flamingos walking around water. I watched sunset and thought that nothing else than nature can be so beautiful. Everything was amazing but I felt really bad and was about to lose consciousness because of high temperature. Fortunately, I had a Spanish friend who helped me to get to the bus and gave me some water.
Next day I felt better and we went to real desert. My chubby cheeks surrounded by infinite sandJ
My journey was quite hard but it was worthwhile. I’ve seen so many amazing places that now it’s quite difficult to surprise me. I’ve learnt much about nature and myself. I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.