chile

ALTIPLANO PART 1: SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA

ALTIPLANO PART 1: SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA

It's been about two months now since we returned from South America, and our trip across the Altiplano from San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.  As I wrote in my previous blog about the trip, it's a place I've wanted to see for about as long as I've been interested in photography.  It's a genuinely remote and extreme part of the planet with landscapes that look like they belong on Mars rather than our own green and blue planet.

We flew to Santiago de Chile via Madrid, one of the longest single flights I've ever done.  Not only do you cross the Atlantic Ocean, but also the whole of the south American continent and move from the northern hemisphere to the south.  We flew overnight, arriving in Santiago early in the morning and caught the bus to the centre of the city.  It's always said that Santiago is South America's most European city, and although I can see why people say that, to us it really didn't feel particularly European.  It's incredibly wide streets have all the signs of a city that was built for cars like most of the cities I've seen in both North and South America.  Still, we'd decided to stay for a night, and soon found our room in the Lastarria district.  We spent the afternoon wandering around the city, trying the food and enjoying the atmosphere before having a great meal in the evening.  

HEADING TO THE ALTIPLANO

HEADING TO THE ALTIPLANO

On Sunday we're going to the airport to head off on another adventure.  This time we'll be flying to Santiago do Chile, before heading to Calama in northern Chile and then on to San Pedro de Atacama, our base for the beginning of a trip across the Altiplano which will take us all the way to Lake Titicaka

This trip has been on the agenda for a long time now, I can well remember sitting in a bookshop in Brazil after we'd just left the Amazon about 7 years ago, reading the Footprint Guide to Bolivia and trying to find out information on crossing the Altiplano from San Pedro de Atacama to the Salar de Uyuni.  Since then, I've kept returning to the document on my computer with an outline of a dream itinerary for this trip and researched the area a little more, and then finally last summer we took the plunge and decided to make serious plans to actually do it.