Desierto, Ruinas, Perros

Date/Fecha: 1.8.11

¡Feliz agosto!

Hoy día, fuimos a ver la Valle de la Luna, que fue maravillosa. Para ir afuera del pueblo y mover las piernas fue un sentido refrescante. Espero que mañana podamos hacer más trekking, o montar en bicicletas de montaña. Siento la necesidad a moverme más, porque en el pasado no me movía debido a mi tarea y el carrete.

En nuestro tour, conocimos a un hombre irlandés, se llamó Dallan. Él dejó su trabajo y decidió a viajar antes de empezando algo nuevo. Llegó a Argentina primeramente, y viajó a través de casi todos los países suramericanos. Ahora, planea a continuar al norte — Bolivia y Perú — y se irá de Lima en un mas más. Me gustó mucho oír el acento irlandés, especialmente cuando se dice, “Oh, for fuck’s sake.”

2.8.11

El día final en San Pedro de Atacama.

We said a long, chilly goodbye to our travel buddy, Lydia, at 7 am this morning as she waited for the van (which was expensive, by the way) to pick her up and bring her to the tiny Calama airport. We then fell back to sleep, and started the morning over around 10 with a slow breakfast at the same café as yesterday. Their eggs and toast and café con leche was marvelous, though we might only think that because it’s been so long since we’ve had such a North-American-style meal. Eggs. Toast. Coffee.

We then wandered to a bike rental and spent about $7USD on a great day. We biked out of town to the ruins of the Pukara de Quitor. Along the way, a dog befriended us that we named Lassie (very original, as always). Unfortunately, Lassie was a bit overprotective, and angrily jumped at a passing Chilean on bike who, upon learning that Lassie wasn’t ours chasing him off, gladly gave us advice about crossing the river that covered the road. We crossed 3 or 4 such rivers before reaching the ruins.

I won’t describe every detail behind the ruins, but they were amazing. They were built up a hill to look out over the entire valley in which was situated San Pedro. The signs, however, were deceiving. As we climbed the ruins, they said “No Orillar,” which means “Don’t skirt (the edges),” even though the designated path brought us directly to the edges of the cliff-like hillside.

After the ruins, we went to a lookout point much higher by way of a path that wound back and forth up the neighboring hill. Halfway, while we took a rest, I looked back along the trail that we already walked.

“Here comes Lassie.”

We couldn’t believe our eyes. Lassie was making his way up the trail, and soon stopped about 20 meters below to watch us. We tried to sneak away when he wasn’t looking, but it took Sophie a harsh “¡Vaya! We don’t love you!” to get him to head back.

Up at the top, we discovered that we were on the opposite side of the Valle de la Muerte that we saw yesterday on our Valle de la Luna tour. A huge cross stood to commemorate some 300 indigenous people who were massacred by the Spanish. Around the cross was written, “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?” in four languages. I find it ironic, though, that there is a Christian symbol commemorating the massacre of non-Christians by Christians. ¿Cachai?

In the meantime, as we marvelled, Sophie took a look back down the trail.

“Lassie’s back.”

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