Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Desert and a Race

We had our first foray into the desert yesterday. We were not brave enough to be traveling on mountain bikes, but the many young people of the world were. These girls give perspective to the massive landscape.

The white residue you see here is the remains of salt, which used to be the principal industry of this desert area. It was hot and unbelievably dry so consumed a lot of water in just a few hours.

This intrepid traveler is posing just before sunset. In the back left is a group from Brazil who were celebrating with a barbecue and live music.

Today as we sat around relaxing after breakfast we began hearing drums and cheers close by. As we poked our heads out the door, we found the last stretch of the Atacama Desert race.

The race spanned 7 days and 250 kilometers of desert running. The 157 participants came from 45 countries. They had to carry all their food, clothing, and sleeping bags for the entire time on their backs, being provided only water.

As they approached the finish line, a drum increased in intensity and those who had already arrived cheered them on. Two runners from Spain were the winners. The oldest participant, who was from Luxembourg, was not the last to cross the finish line.

This race is one of 4 desert races that also encompass the Gobi, the Sahara, and a desert in Antarctica (based on yearly rainfall).

This is such a strange place, attracting adventurous people from all over the world. I feel grossly out of place, given my age and less than stellar physical condition. But it has been a unique experience!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Tocopilla,San Pedro de Atacama,Chile


Blogger Steve Reed said...

Racing in the Atacama?? That's freakin' crazy.

3:58 AM  

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