Areqipua, Peru and Arica and San Pedro, Chile
June 5th, 2019 - It has been a busy week or so. After I left Nazca, Peru, I headed down to Arequipa, Peru to spend a couple nights and visit that old Spanish colonial town. Arequipa is nestled right between the desert and the Andes mountains in the background. Great architecture. And had some great BBQ there also. The drive down the coast in Peru was beautiful, but a bit nerve racking. At times, a 1000 foot drop off on a curvy highway with no guard rails. Gotta' try not to get vertigo.
Then, I headed down to Chile and crossed the border. I treated myself to a night on the coast in Arica, Chile. Literally, an ocean front room. Loves the sound of the waves at night. Hate the layer of salt on the car in he morning. Finally, I headed up to San Pedro de Atacama. Outside of Antarctica, the Atacama desert is the driest place on earth. And, San Pedro is at 8000 feet, with surrounding areas up to 14,000 feet. I feel like if Death Valley and Zion National Park had a baby, it would look like this. This makes for a beautiful terrain, and the high dry air makes for the best star gazing I have ever seen. The star picture was taken by a friend of mine, Jonatas Junior, here last night - I don't have a camera that good. I met him in Panama while we were shipping our cars, and we have crossed paths in Medellin, Lima, and now here. The highest geysers in the world are here - at 14,000 feet. Along, with foxes, Vicuna, Rheas, flamingos...amazing how much wildlife can live in this desert! The Atacama is an amazing place. Tomorrow morning, I head over the Jama Pass at just over 15,000 feet and down into Argentina. Oh yeah...and I had flat tire #3 here. UGH!! This get a bit stressful because on some of these drives, it can be 100-200 miles between service stations. Luckily, this time, I was only 20 miles out from a shop. The trip continues...see ya in Argentina! I am looking forward to great steaks, and great wine.