Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Driest Place on Earth

Laguna Blanca in Bolivia
   Hey, everybody.  Matt here.  It's been a while, so I'll skip all the pleasantries and get right into talking about me (and Sara).
Meat on a stick and beer.  Dieciocho!
   So the national independence holidays came and went far too quickly, much like last year.  As we had a wild & crazy time last year in Pichilemu, we decided to clear right out of the damn country this year with a trip to Bolivia.  While in Santiago before heading north to the Atacama Desert, we did make sure to attend the requisite non-stop BBQs that everyone seemed to be having.  Our count this year was 4 in 3 days.
A real horse's ass.
   We started our vacation in San Pedro de Atacama, a town near the border with Bolivia.  While a pleasant enough town, it was rather expensive - especially food.  The experience was not dis-similar to staying at a ski resort (except no skiing or bread-bowls).  We had our first experience riding horses here, which was nice.  Our guide's horse, unfortunately, butted him in the head, which cut our tour short.  Sara & I were both relieved our horses, while stubborn, were not violent.
Hot spring = Hot.  Altiplano = Cold.
   We then began a 4 day Land-Cruiser tour of the Bolivian portion of the Atacama Desert (the driest in the world!).  We saw lots of interesting, unique landforms, flora, and fauna while there.  It was a quiet, contemplative time during the days.  At nights backpacking European kids serenaded everyone, without any request, with their tales of sex, drugs, and rock & roll.
Stupid flamingos; read the sign!
   One of the neatest days, by far, was when we were in the salar [salt flat] de Uyuni (the largest in the world, 10,000km2).  We saw the full moon set and the sun rise over a sea of salt.  While here, Sara made friends with a dog.   It was a nice vacation from life in the capital and work.
Exactly what it looks like.
   The only trouble we had was at the border.  As the US is a real stickler for charging people to enter the US, many other countries respond in kind.  If you're looking to take a trip to Bolivia, bring a bunch of US cash.  We almost encountered a lovely $10,000 fine re-entering Chile as an apple was mistakenly left undeclared.  After gutting our bags in front of the customs man and kowtowing to the powers that be, we were able to continue.  Chile loves their borders!
A new friend for sunrise.
   OK.  I'm gonna sign off now.  I hope you are well.  Please send Sara & I an email, skype, gchat, or something to let us know how you are.

Sara's view of our relationship
Boots so big you can almost see the stink lines

We like this picture.


1 comment:

  1. I love these pictures!! Will have to catch you online soon, miss you guys!