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Final day in San Pedro

Our time in San Pedro is coming to an end.  I think we timed it perfectly spending 2 nights in this town.  We were really pleased with the tour we went on.  Most people go on the Geyser tour which departs at 04:00 to catch the morning eruptions at 06:00.  We were definitely not up for this, so we opted to go on the lagoon swimming tour.  Shane, Ciara, and Sinead came along with us.  We first stopped off at this lagoon which was formed after they drilled for water, which spewed to the surface and formed two giant pools of water.  From what I gathered there was a high metal content in this one, so you weren’t supposed to dip your head in the water.  The first 2 ft. were freezing, but beneath was a really warm layer.  You had to stay vertical if you wanted to be warm.  If you tried to float, you’d freeze.   We didn’t spend to long in there as you can get bad rashes formed.  I felt my ass start to burn and I figured I wasn’t down for a bum-rash, so I quickly hopped out where they douse everybody in salt water.

Next we stopped at two circular salt water holes that formed in the dessert.  There were lots of weeds around the edges and the water was apparently “pretty cold”.  A bunch of tour buses were stopped there but nobody was trying to go in.  I figured, you only live once, and how often will I have the opportunity for a dip in the middle of the Chilean desert, so with a hoard of onlookers I took a run and jumped on in:

The water was absolutely freezing and the bus driver said the way out was the other end of the pool.  I quickly felt my breaths shortening so I said screw it and climbed up a mud embankment go get out of there and dry off.

After this we stopped to watch the sunset at the salt flat lake.  It’s basically a giant puddle where you can walk across and it looks like your walking on water

So we stopped for some chips, some booze, and come coca tea/coffee while the sun went down and we headed back to San Pedro de Atacama.  Our 3 Irish friends lucked out and managed to snag the last 3 seats on the morning 4×4 trip to Bolivia.  3 nights camping in -20 temperatures with only 1 possible shower, and getting up by 08:00 for? Not our cup of tea.  After they got their tickets we all washed up and headed out for dinner.  We all got a nice 3-course meal of: wine, Pumpkin soup, grilled chicken over potatoes and corn, along with some pie for desert for 6500 Bolivian Pesos.  It was colder than our first night so we hurried back to the hostel and built another campfire to warm up before heading to bed.  It was an early night as they had to be up for their 08:00 4×4 ride, so we wished each other the best of luck and turned in.

So Paul and I are just having a quiet relaxing day in San Pedro.  We have to check out of our hostel at 11:30, but our bus up for Arica doesn’t leave until 20:45, so we will be leaving our stuff in the hostel while we wander about.  It looks to be an overnight but, and we will be arriving bright and early in Arica at 06:00.  This is the city on the border of Peru.  We will likely be staying here a couple night before heading into Peru.  It’s a coastal town so we hope to get (temperature permitting) some surfing in while here… Until then – Adios

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