We are finding the food to be mostly the same ingredients that we use, but prepared slightly different. They use a lot of pork, beef & chicken, plus seafood. We thought we would have lots of rice and beans, but so far we have not had them once, instead it has been potatoes (mashed) and corn, used in many ways. I’m sure we’ll get rice and beans in Brazil, if not before!
This morning was relaxing before we left for the airport. On the way we stopped at our host’s school for a tour. It is a school of 1300 students from nursery to 12th grade. The school facilities are great, and there is up-to-date technology in each classroom. We were impressed.
At the airport we boarded a flight to Calama, a city in northern Chile. This is an area of extreme desert where lots of mining takes place. The mining of copper is the largest export of Chile. Mining! I think there were only 4 women on the flight – it is Tuesday and the miners were returning to work.
The sight from the airplane windows for the first half of the flight out of Santiago was of continuous mountains. It was a beautiful sight as they were in a blue haze. The last half of the flight was desert and desert mountains! Unreal! Then we began seeing wind turbine farms - somebody must be using this power source. By the time we were landing in Calama I was beginning to wonder about coming to this “god forsaken” area - the driest zone in the planet’s driest desert, but Calama is an oasis city in this dry desert. There were green trees! We had decided to come to this area because it is a unique area and off the beaten tourist path. Our destination, the town of San Pedro de Atacama is the most popular tourist spot in northern Chile.
|Mystic Andes Mountains|
|Wind Field near Calama|
|The Calama Region|
We had an hour drive on good roads through this desert (no towns, villages or houses) to another oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama – we will be based in San Pedro for the next 3 days – each day taking tours out into the desert to see unique things. We went directly to our accommodations owed by our tour guide. We are in a new room attached to her home located out in the country. After settling in for a few minutes we went with her back into town to get a bite to eat and check out the town of San Pedro.
|Our San Pedro Host House|
|We had to drive through the river to get to the house|
|Main Street in San Pedro|
|Restaurants near the City Plaza|
|Town from City Plaza|
|San Pedro at night|