Friday, March 09, 2012

What a difference a day makes

This is the main street of San Pedro, which looks like something out of the wild west. There are still a few puddles on the street from the recent rain, the first they have had since 1995. This is allegedly the driest place on earth. So what did the rain bring besides potholes in the unpaved roads and a few puddles? Flies and mosquitos in a place that is known for having no bugs of any kind.

San Pedro sits somewhere above 8,000 feet high in the far north of Chile. This has made me feel like I am running on about half my usual energy and given me a slight but persistent headache. We made a trip to the local market to buy mate de coca and caramel chews with coca inside. So now it will be hard to tell whether I am suffering from altitude sickness or whether I am just high on coca.

Our hotel has a big mix of countries represented, including Germany, Finland, and Zimbabwe. English is once again the common denominator. A German woman just gave me her stash of mate de coca teabags as they are going to Bolivia tonight and she is not sure she can take them across the border.
That is the hotel's recently enlarged swimming pool below. It would seem crowded with 4 people standing up in it.

It has occurred to me just how remote this place is. We flew into Calama and rode the 60 miles in a shared minivan, driving through some of the most desolate terrain I have ever seen. It's certainly not the kind of place where you would ever want to have a medical emergency of any kind.

The dogs of San Pedro are quite abundant. They are mostly big dogs who look like they are several generations away from a purebred. All are friendly and content to lie around and sun themselves on the dirt streets or sidewalks.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Antofagasta,San Pedro de Atacama,Chile


Blogger Steve Reed said...

Cute dogs! They look pretty well-fed! I've never heard of mate de coca, but I guess anything with "coca" in the name could be a border problem!

3:53 AM  
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5:04 AM  

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