This weekend we traveled to the Atacama – “the driest desert in the world” – where it rained the first night and snowed the last night. That’s not even a joke — it SNOWED in the ATACAMA DESERT. I felt a little cheated because usually when you think desert, you think of the words “hot” and “shorts” and “suntan,” not “freezing cold” and “winter jacket” and “frostbite.”
Good thing I packed warm clothes. It was supposed to be hot during the day, freezing at night. Not freezing during the day with chance of sandstorm (two sandstorms) and freezing at night with chance of real storms (rain & hail & snow). Crazy weather weekend, and not much sightseeing involved. Which honestly was okay with me. For a few reasons.
1 As I’ve been here for almost three months now, I’m running pretty low on funds. So a fifty dollar desert tour, as much fun as it would’ve been, could actually break the bank right now.
2 Altitude is really hard. I was sleepy 24/7. That could have also come from the 12 hours of travel to get there (which means even more time to get back because once again it snowed in the desert and snow plows are scarce there) but I think it was also the altitude.
3 One canyon is enough for me. I got to see geysers and cacti and rocks and that’s good enough for one trip i think. Also experienced that classic desert flash hail storm that everyone talks about, while trekking to a waterfall. So I think I had enough experiences for one trip.
We only really went on one excursion, but that’s fine because we got to experience a new city, and new sights, and new friends from new countries (including three French ski resort workers who were in love with the American phrase “oh my gosh,” an Australian who only owned one outfit I think (and that outfit consisted of a jean jacket and jean pants), and a cute black dog that only tried to bite me like three times (the dog is from Chile)). We also got to see the Milky Way on Friday night after walking out a little ways into the desert. I missed all three shooting stars that everyone else in our group managed to witness, but it was still the most beautiful starry sky I’ve ever seen.
Pretty chill(y) weekend overall.