Bolivia has landscapes that resemble Mars (at least to me), Chile has Atacama desert and on it Moon Valley, that resembles….well….the Moon. Sometimes the landscape that you see when you travel is so surreal to what your eyes are used to, that you feel as if you found yourself on a different planet.
My first impression of the Atacama desert was: it is hot in here. We just came from bolivian altiplano, cruising for the past few days through roads set on 4000 meters and higher and San Pedro de Atacama – little town in the middle of the driest desert in the world, where we stayed, was a big altitute drop.
Atacama desert is known to be the best place in the world to watch stars. Lured by this fact we booked star gazing tour for our second night there. Unfortunately tours aren’t always as great as anticipated. This one turned out to be acutally disastrous, mainly to our translator, whose first words when we got to the location were „I don’t know anything about stars”. Although my spanish at this point is good enough and I did learn many useful facts about the sky (which indeed was full of stars) I also learned many useless things from our a little too excentric guide. Luckily we ended up getting most of our money back.
Late afternoon on the 3rd day (to avoid the midday heat) I rented a bike and cycled few hours through Moon Valley ending at the viewpoint and watching sunset in the middle of Atacama desert.