Many people avoid Chile when visiting South America, or just give Santiago a token visit before flying away. Reasons are usually that it’s too expensive or too far out of the way. I think it’s because people are idiots. This was day two in San Pedro de Atacama. All photos are taken with a ‘camera.’
Usually I consider photo essays to be very lazy and uninspired when a travel writer just posts a series of photos up and think they’re being creative. The only thing more boring is a photo essay about food (fucken oath, right?). But when it comes to San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile words don’t do it justice. Nothing irritating or amusing happened, I just spent two days in jaw-dropped awe of the place, roaming around lost in the scenery before being shepherded back in to the mini-van to go to another equally spectacular setting.
I arrived in Santiago at 11 pm on a Tuesday night. My eyes began to water because of the tear gas still in the air from the student protests, and there were garbage bonfires on the road stopping traffic. This made me strangely excited to be there. I stayed for two weeks.
If Rio De Janeiro had been designed by someone from start to finish, from drawing an outline of the bay and the beaches to filling it with buildings and infrastructure, you’d call the architect a nutter.
I had to re-evaluate my decision to volunteer in the Venezuelan jungle as I dragged half a tree through deep swamp, the bark scratching against my sweaty, dirty, shirtless skin and providing a bridge for some of the region’s more rare and interesting insects to cross onto my body and interact with the mosquitoes already there, unable to be swatted away due to the weight of the wood I was painstakingly trying to keep up. All this for firewood.
La Paz sits at 3, 650 meters elevation as the highest capital city in the world. Potosi is 4, 090 meters in the sky. Lake Titicaca is apparently the world’s highest lake at 3, 811, and if you climb the hill overlooking the lakeside town of Copacabana you’ll be gasping for breath a lot higher up than that. Most of Bolivia is basically in the clouds. It makes it all sound appealing and somewhat romantic and magical, but what they fail to mention is how hard it is to breathe up there.
‘Yes, this is a good spot to swim.’
It is a good spot – a wide bend in the river away from the overhanging jungle and a weak current underneath.