The theme of the trip so far seems to be early morning wake up calls! Our flight left for Calama at 0645 so we had to leave for the airport by 0445. Zzzzz….. We used the same shuttle company we used to come in to town and they were very professinal and prompt. Allow time to pick up other passengers, although the shuttle company is usually quite good at coordinating it.
We got to Calama bright and early and easily picked up one of the transport services to SPdA. The desert is a perfect place to capture wind power and there are a lot of windmills on the way to San Pedro.
The driver didn’t speak English but was very friendly stopped for a view point just outside of San Pedro.
He dropped us off directly at Hostal Mamatierra. This is one of the top rated hostals in San Pedro and it’s not hard to see why. It is very clean, not too big, not too noisy and there was a towel and water provided and they helped us to book all our activities while we were there.
We went into town to run some errands. San Pedro is very cute and small but busy with lots of tourists. I had a delicious lunch of guacamole wrap and learned ‘palta’ is a kind of shortened way to say avocado.
That afternoon we joined a tour to see some of the salt lagoons with a few Aussies from our hostal and others. It was really lots of fun. Laguna Cejara is not for floating in but was gorgeous. The pool we were allowed to swim in was not as salty as dead sea but quite cold. We saw our first flamingos here! They are just beautiful and look like planes when they fly.
We also saw all white flamingo which we promptly nicknamed ‘Albingo’.
From there we drove to another pool that we could swim in and took shadow photos in the setting sun.
Lastly, we visited Salar de Atacama and saw more flamingos. I almost lost my swimsuit top. Don’t worry, wasn’t wearing it, but had tied it to my bag to dry out. Luckily it was quickly relocated! We also tried our first pisco sour. They were delicious! This resulted in lots of giggles with the girls.
The desert gets quite chilly at night and we were pleased to return home for delicious fresh tomatoes and avo for supper.