We were sad to be leaving Santiago and the people in our hostel, but actually quite excited to get to the desert, it will be a totally new adventure string to our bow!
Our flight was delayed by an hour or so, so we had time to have a little shop and lunch before boarding the second flight on this trip that we weren’t sitting together. After a rocky few hours, we finally landed in the middle of nowhere. And I mean, nowhere. The airport of Calama is just plonked in the middle of huge sand dunes with mountains in the background; a tiny little building that is difficult to imagine having an air traffic control room (I’m very glad they do though…somewhere). The city (village?) of San Pedro de Atacama is actually about an hour and a half drive away, and luckily we were in a private van with only two other people so we got to stretch out and relax, and take in the yet again, beautiful scenery (it’s a bit strange to us that some of the most incredible views we’ve seen have been, but not limited to, from the seat of a car).
We arrived in San Pedro pretty taken aback. It’s a desert. Like, a proper desert. The roads (which are not really roads) are sand, there are stray dogs everywhere, not one of the buildings is two storeys and there is a volcano prominently visible at the end of our street. Yes, a real volcano (and no, it’s never been active).
We arrived at our hostel which is a cool little place outside of the main square (but that means its a five minute walk away – this place is SMALL), had a look at some of the tours on offer and then scuttled off to bed – looking forward to exploring tomorrow!