Posted on May 9th, 2010 at 5:12 PM by admin

          Waking up on day 2 was not easy and taking a shower outdoors was even less enjoyable but getting the sand out of every crevice of my body was quite necessary. Having such a late start I decided to not to a tour and instead asked the locals what I should do. I was told there was a beautiful green valley called Cartape about 7-10 km from the city. Excited, I rented a bike, bought some snacks and headed out with a homemade map the guy at the bike rental store gave me.

The view on the bike path

          The path there was remarkable. I stopped near a tree for my snack and took many pictures of the landscape and the pretty nice looking bike I had rented. The only sounds I could hear were the wind and my own body movements. I felt very at peace.

The tree that provided me a shaded lunch 🙂

          After about an hour or so on the bike I veared left at a fork in the road as my map had indicated and started to head through some very interesting rock formations. Carrying my camera and 1.5 liters of water quickly became tiring as the slope gradually became steeper and steeper. Where I ended up was certainly not the luscious green valley of Catarpe -I eventually arrived at at a small tunnel about half way up a some very large mountainous rock formations. I could see Cartarpe in the distance along with San Pedro’s most magestic volcano – Licancabur. It was one of those times when getting lost really paid off !

Rock formations and the beginning of slope inclination

San Pedro de Atacama - View from tunnel

The view outside the tunnel of the dunes and the Licancabur Volcano