With Bolivia having been so full on, we all were pretty knackered so a chilled day was in order in Atacama. A late breakfast and just sitting until gone midday in the sun was just SO nice. Had a little mooch in the town with Dimitri/Steph and Eimear before some lunch. Then the group met for a trip into the desert to see the Moon Valley and Death Valley.
It’s the driest desert on earth (apparently) and some parts of it look like being on the moon. Sadly, the tour we went on wasn’t great. The guide was terrible, told us nothing and generally pissed us all off! But we made our own fun! The tour ended with watching the sun set over the desert which was pretty spectacular to be fair.
Got back, picked up some quick dinner and then we headed into another part of the desert to go stargazing. Atacama is one of the clearest places on earth to star gaze. Usually you shouldn’t go when there’s a full moon as the moon is too bright in the sky. However when you only have one night you go anyway! And we all really enjoyed it. The stars are super bright and the astronomer who gave the talk was really interesting and passionate. Using a super strength telescope we saw stars, Mars, Uranus and finally looked at the moon. It was amazing to look at it in detail – you could see the Sea of Tranquility and the rough edges of the moon. The teacher also decided to share with us that he had his first child when he (and his then-wife) were 14! As you do!
Next morning was another early start for our flight to Santiago – and our last night together on the tour. We arrived around lunchtime and went straight on to wine tasting. Robinson – our guide- was awesome – which was greatly appreciated after the awful one the day before in the desert! We went to two vineyards. The first one was smaller, stunning and the guy was really passionate about explaining the wine process and making sure we understood the different tastes and smells. Then we hot footed it to another vineyard – in fact the 3rd biggest in the world called Concha Y Torro – they make Casillera del Diablo. It was very commercialized after the smaller one- though we all continued with the wine tasting!
On our way back into Santiago we had a quick city tour which gave us a good understanding of what was around us and then headed to our final dinner. We sat outside, had a good time, and Richard made a lovely speech about the group and to thank Eddie for everything. Was a nice final dinner all together.
Most of the group are still travelling after the tour – and people are joining up to continue their travels. For example, Sofia, Keryn and myself are heading to Easter Island tomorrow! We’re actually missing the final day of the G Tour and a day trip to Valparaiso / Vina del Mar – but sometime you gotta just be spontaneous and book some flights – which is exactly what we did! Exciting times….