Dust, dust, dust

Trip Start Dec 31, 2006
Trip End Nov 2007

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Flag of Chile  ,
Sunday, September 9, 2007

After driving through a lot of desert we finally arrived in darkness in the middle of chuffin nowhere.  We got off the bus and got the map out, not knowing exactly where we were we asked the bus man who looked in the light of the bus of the map to help us find our hostel. He managed to direct us to the main square where we managed to locate our hostel from.  The man that was there when we arrived spoke no english and tried to give me a 2 bed room which was more expensive but I(Aimee) held out for the cheaper dorm ha not getting one over on me Señor.  The dorm was basic but fine, the showers were outside andthey asked that you spent no longer than 3 minutes in the shower!!!  We went and got something to eat on San Pedros plaza del armas which had a very welcoming fire set in the middle of a courtyard in a wheelbarrow.  As it was still early we went for a beer in the cafe next to the hostel a great place with a sort of stone & wood theme, again with an open fire and very cool lampshades.

The next day we went and checked out the tour agencies to book our tour through the salt plains into Bolivia.  Once tihs was successfully completed we walked to the end of the street to look at all the nothingness around us and naturally has a nosy around the shops.  After lunch in the square we returned to the hostel to get our trip to go sandboarding and to visit valle del luna.  We followed the random hostel guy along with a columbian girl to his pick up and drove to the sand dune.  We met the other hostel guy at the bottom of the dune and he was to be our teacher.  Me and Sarah looked up with awe at the sixe of the dune until we were informed that the smaller 10 metre duen was over the other side phew.  We climed up to the top of the dune where we were given a demo where we all stood on the board stuck our bottoms out and held our arms out like real surfer dudes!!!  After waxing board with a candle stick I went first not getting very far before falling over spectacurly.  This continued for the first few times before we began to get the hang of it.  Soon we were pros and I even progressed to the big hill and managed to go down without falling over, it was a long way back up though.  Soon it was time to go so I sandboarded to the bottom and got the pick up to Valle del Luna.  We drove around the park which is really barren and kind of looked like you´d imagine Mars too.  We stopped for pics by the 3 Maria´s (big rocks) and hiked up to the top of the hill for sun set which was really cool as you watch nearby mountains change colour as the sun passes over them it was a wicked view.  Once back at the hostel we went out for tea and of course beers.  I had also seen signs for Cubra libres and fancied one so we found a bar that sounded busy.  It was busy, it was full of Chileans and a craazy chilean folk band, me and Sarah were the only white faces, it was very entertaining but as we were severely out numbered we drank our drink and left as the next day the challenging trip into Bolivia was to begin.
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