Monday, 25.01.2010: amazing…

25 Jan
First I have to agree with Catalina and Georges: approaching San Pedro is marvelous, beautiful etc!

But first I had nice 18km downhill with 5-7%. I’m so happy not to have chosen the way back! I had several stops to enjoy the view, take some pictures and let the breaks cool down. I had expected the Salar de Atacama to be one big white surface made of salt, which is not: it is as plan with some white spots.

Down the hill, you arrive between before a last elevation of 200m in dry and hot landscape. Some one have made a large lizzard out of stones. My bike is unfortunately not convertibel into a plane: the form is barely to be recognized from the ground.

Few km further you arrive beside the “Valle de la Luna”: just beautiful moon-like landscape I will have to visit during my stay.

Arrived at San Pedro I am quite surprised as I expected a “real” town which is in fact just a pueblo with roads made of stones and ground. The streets are full with artisanal stuff for tourists, restaurants and tour operators to all the same location. Everything is more expensive then elsewhere, you see much French, Japonese or German people. Well, a real magnet for tourist coming mainly by busses or cars.

As the tourist office opened at 15h, I had much time to take a coffe and eat something. Dominique and Claude, a couple from France, saw the bike and started the discussion, which ended more than one hour later and invited me for the cocacola: Many thanks!

Then started the hunt for a single room with bath…mission impossible if you don’t want to let all your money there.

So in the end I have landed at a hostal with a room for the bike and myself. The Dutch couple I met after Chañaral said I would be able to find anything in San Pedro, so I started very confident the search for reparing the stove… I was not lucky. I have three solution: no cooking anymore (?!?), going back to Calama and try to find a spare part or switch to gas and buy a new stove Would be nice if problems would stop!

We will see how the night will be.

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