Friday, 10 June 2011

Tierra de roca, sal y fuego

So, an unexpectedly early return to San Pedro from the excellent canyon of Socaire

(Can't get the bloody picture to line up as I want)


(where I managed two days easy climbing in the fierce heat of the high altitude sun) meant I had a day to fill, which I chose to do by accompanying Martin and Marese on the tour of the Salar de Atacama lakes. This, at a bargain price of 12,000 pesos, included a swim in a lake fed by hot springs of lithium salts, a look at the Ojos del Salar de Atacama, and pisco sour cocktails at sunset at a lake whose real name eludes me but it translates as 'The lake where we feed the llamas'.  The first of these experiences was moderately iinteresting for about 10 minutes, the second for about 10 seconds. We were, therefore, somewhat sceptical about the last. But how wrong we were. After an inauspicious start, the sky began to colour until it was aflame, fire streaked across the gathering darkness, so much so that we thought "That's it, it can't get any better", but again how wrong we were. I think it was, and remains, the most dramatic sunset I have ever seen, and (given that we drank about 7500 pesos worth of pisco sours) it made the net cost of the tour (about £5.00) a real bargain.

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