Thursday, March 2, 2017

Day 10: Purmamarca, Argentina, to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Day 10:  Purmamarca to San Pedro de Atacama

Weather: Delightful, cool to a bit warm, no rain, no delays due to weather

Quotes of the Day: It’s a spectacular 180 rainbow…with a faint twin!

Question of the Day: If this is the driest place on earth, how come there are puddles in the street?

THB is dedicating this post to an almost text free day for the followers. How can he do that? By posting a ton of pictures. Oh, and not writing too much.

The drive is spectacular, the Tierra Atacama is spectacular, the rainbow at 7:45 is spectacular, the pisco sours are spectacular, THB’s traveling partner is spectacular.

The spectacular day in pictures (and a touch of text)

We leave Purmamarca at 7am,

The hotel sets up a mini-breakfast of coffee, juice, bread, croissants and bit of pound cake

Urinals in a corner is an odd set-up in the hotel lobby restroom

On the road to San Pedro de Atacama:  

This is near the top of the altitude for the day, 13,500 feet; most of the time we are at least at 9,000 feet

A very high altitude salt flat where they produce salt for roads, salt for animals, and salt for humans

The building is made out of bricks of salt

As are the tables

And the saltman

The cracks need repair: salt caulk?

The last real stop before the border: a combo hotel, cafe, gas station (we dont get gas here, Andres says it isn't safe)

Sorry, no cappuccinos, just espresso 

THB's 3rd real coffee of the morning, more than he would drink in a year

THB and DB are in shock: this place has a fitness center (though it is not clear how you play ping-pong on one side of the table)

Just a few meters from the border and Customs and Immigration; Andres has to present papers for the truck and then the three of us present our papers, then they search the truck and our bags. It isn't clear to THB and DB if our pictures taken at the airport are on file.

Andres waited to fill up the truck and take the chance of no lines at Customs; he has gas station karma today

Trying to use up the last of our Argentinian money

This is also a combo hotel, gas station and mini-market; 4 rooms and a laundromat 

We're now in Chile!

make it through Immigration and Customs in around a half hour (it’s near impossible to do it any faster),

We are a few meters from Bolivia, we can see it from here; can THB count that as having been there?

and arrive at the all-inclusive Tierra Atacama hotel in San Pedro de Atacama around 2.  

Used to be a corral for bulls

The view west from our room

The desk

The dining room
Lunch at 2:30:
Mate te con hielo

Pork ribs with caramelized onions on top of great polenta 

Mildly roasted peaches

Planning the activities for our stay using a huge map on the wall

Our schedule

The view to the east from our room
And, what we saw around 7:45, the camera can't capture the entire arc

Dinner is buffet style tonight, THB doesn't take any pictures. Lots of great salads, a range of meets (NOT bbq'd!), a shrimp/pulpo stir fry, and lots of desserts. We're not in Argentina any more, the choices are almost overwhelming.


  1. Great scenery -are you coping with the altitude OK?

  2. Good question! There have been a few moments when we knew we weren't at sea level. Overall, we've been up over 5000 feet for so long that we're acclimated. There was one moment where we made a "technical" stop (pissoir in the bushes) where both DB and THB felt a bit light headed on the way back to the car. On the other hand, our bladders were much lighter, so maybe that explained it