San Perros de Atacama..arf!

Trip Start Nov 29, 2008
Trip End May 08, 2009

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Flag of Chile  ,
Friday, April 24, 2009

We finished our Salt Flats tour in San Pedro (this decision was made about midnight on the bus the night before - we like spontaneous country changes!).  We drove for quite a while through the desert to get to this little but lovely town.  When we arrived our bags were thoroughly searched by customs men for fruit and vegetables as they are really strict - one man tried to steal Louisa's precious Cadburys by telling her it was illegal in Chile.  Liar.

Whilst walking through building sites trying to find our hostal loads of dogs came and barked at us.  San Pedro has SO many dogs.  This does NOT make Hev happy at all.  There are so many that the town has been nicknamed San Perro instead.  It also has an electricity problem as the majority of the time we were there was spent in darkness and without power (this also affected the cash machines...uh oh). 

Had a nice wander round and the first safe salad of our trip which was very exciting.  We enjoyed the sunshine and beautiful scenery of the desert surrounded by snow-capped mountains.  Very beautiful.  In the evening, we (without Jill as she was still recovering from the altitude sickness) went star gazing in the middle of the desert with a lovely french man.  He showed us the different constellations and we looked through telescopes at the stars - we saw parts of the Milky Way you couldn't see with your naked eye, the Jewel box (different coloured stars) and Saturn with its rings.  The stars from San Pedro were stunning and so bright - you could clearly see the Milky Way.

The rest of time was spent rather stressfully trying to get money from a town with no power, ATMS that don't accept visa and money exchange shops that don't accept travellers cheques.  Eventually we found one woman who would exchange travellers cheques for a shocking exchange rate so we could pay for our hostal and leave (sadly not eat!)...if we hadn't found her, we might still be there now, being savagely eaten by the stray dogs.  Close escape.
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