Through wine, stars and desert. Part 2
Antofagasta is biggest city on north of Chile. However, besides really nice main square and harbor offers absolutely nothing. Maybe few pickpockets who stole my cellphone in bus when I went to my Couchsurfer host, and which I gain few days before… Francisco is an amazing guy who on motorbike went through whole Europe and Asia. He was also in Poland for few months and remember the best polish girls and traditional fast food “Zapiekanka” 😀 He;s fascinated by culture of Russia and there he want to live. Because that culture is based mostly on alcohol when I asked him if he want to drink beer he asked me: “You don’t want to drink wodka?”. We founded in shop polish wodka Wyborowa so our nights together didn’t wanted to end. In Antofagasta I met also brothers from “świat w 2D” ho are also travel around South America. Once they wrote me on facebook with question about Paraguay but that was everything. Suddenly when I used Internet in library they asked from above my back: “You are from Poland, right?”. How we start sharing our stories that literally we ended on wine on pier. Finally next Saturday came and another possibility to touch stars.
In train museum I found president cabin…
… and most crazy guide!
Very Larg Telescope in Paranal Observatory. We’re going there on motorbike of my host. Because is 6m and we are going through desert we are almost freezing there. Also my helmet was for girl so my head was crushed like in chuck. True is that Paranal Observatory is big as whole peak of mountain with few hundred meters of underground tunnels. It makes from that place biggest working telescope in whole world! How I moved that monster and what in the middle of desert, on 3000m above the sea are doing polish geologists and taxes, and also bad guys from Bond’s movies You can read HERE.
Finally, I’m leaving my host to secure my stomach from necrosis. I spend two days in trains museum in small, sleepy town. Old trains are remembering theirs shiny times, now under big layer of dust. Magic town like from Wild West, where live something like 300 persons. What is most funny in public park are so much benches that probably whole city can sit there in the same moment. And that kind of places I’m looking for. Small, dusty, where You can’t meet other foreigners but in one night You can meet half of village. I went also to Calama where I wanted to visit biggest mine of copper and second biggest open-pit mining. But when I came to visit center they ended visits because of operational reasons…
That was time for heart of Atacama – San Pedro de Atacama. On road I spend only 15 minutes when I ate rolls and suddenly some guy shouted to me that I can go with him! He is working in some hotel there so he share with me not only marihuana clouds and many stories about cities but also advices how to no die on desert. He also gave me extra water, and after 15 km of walking on most dry and salty desert on earth I realized that water here is more valuable that gold. I reached famous Valle de la Luna from other side than city, that’s why I didn’t paid anything for entrance. Views there are like from cosmos! Literally because Moon Valley looks like our closed satellite. But in night I thought I’m in Diamond Valley. I camped there illegally with only moon as a friend. You need to know that Valle de la Luna is a small mountain with huge sources of salt, which are flushed by rain. You can found there huge rocks of salt which in night with fool moon are shining like diamonds. Night in Diamonds Valley. Sounds nice, right? 🙂
I went also to some canyon and when I reached other side I jumped over signs with information that canyon is… closed because is too dangerous. That’s really nice that this information was also on other side. Is hot like in hell and I don’t wanna to walk another 15km on desert to city so I pray to catch some car. And few seconds later next to me stopped coupe from Australia! I could pray for bag full of gold… Together we went through gate so nobody asked me for ticket. And because they bought some, we also went to visits other places. They waved theirs tickets on gates and I hided in that time on back sits 😀 Finally we’re going to city.
After 5 hours there I wanted to run away. Dusty small city, to visit in 2 days. Place more focused for tourists I met maybe only on Easter island. Almost 80% of places there are tourist agencies which can send You in absolutely every place on desert (and in balloon even above it), You can hike on volcanos, slide down on boards from dunes, take a night trips on bikes with music through Valle de la Luna or participate on illegal parties on desert with DJ, fire, lights and every kind of drugs. Of course for fistful of cash. I saw there A LOT of foreigners (even in Ushuaia was better) so it will be good if this fistful will be really big. Cost of rent bike for day – 60-70zł. It can’t be big surprise when I will say that through that desert I’m running with 5l cans with water. Which also cost here like a gold.
Bookstore in the middle of desert. Why not? 🙂
But finally I parked there for 4 days because people who are living there show me better side of that dusty oasis. First Camila, who I met first in Buenos Aires, than we met once again Santiago, now is working in hostel in San Pedro. She show me some nice places and introduce to people. Some really low-cost backpackers I met on street and somehow I survive there. Few parties, few music in live and in day when I left city my road through center took me few hours because in every few meters was somebody with who I should say goodbye.
Every place in San Pedro have permission to be restaurant not a bar. So when You wanna just drink beer You always receive also fork 🙂
Thats my birthdays party. In the middle fo desert, under unic tree with ska band and DJ. And of corse with huge amount of alcohol and drugs. Obviouse thatI can show only one picture form there 🙂 Party was sooo hard that we brought… eartquake!
After 3 months of my road through most active seismic region of world, during last night finally I had one attraction for free – earthquake! Everybody who I met here were surprised that during so long time here never earth shake under my foots. Its really strange feeling. I lean on wall than suddenly… wall started to lean back from me! I thought that I’m drunk (what is quite possible) but waving street lights confirmed what I felt. 6.8 in Richter scale here was clasificated as bump, because earthquake in Chile is starting since 7 degrees. In Poland buildings in that situations could start falling down, here nobody cares about that. People only tried to not pour out coffee. But it can’t be something strange in country where was biggest earthquake in history who had almost 10 degrees.
I didn’t went to reach one from volcanos, which hot red eyes are above 6 thousands meters. I didn’t saw also biggest in whole world radio telescope ALMA, because amount of people who wanted to see that miracle fulfilled schedule for few next weeks. But there will be time to do that. Now it’s time for northwest part of Argentina. Now it’s time to put back my first stone!