The last few miles of the ride down into San Pedro de Atacama passes through some lovely moonscape that reminds me of the Badlands back home in South Dakota. Fitting since that is where you turn onto the road that takes you to Valle de la Luna, the Valley of the Moon.
We camp at a hostal on the edge of town which, lucky for me, had a French bakery parked right out front….two mornings of fresh croissants was dreamy.
San Pedro is a little hippy commune sort of place in the far northeast corner of Chile near the borders with Bolivia and Argentina. Artists sell jewelry on the street and dreadlocks are everywhere….
I keep thinking of Texas with all the adobe buildings, wooden timber framing and the flag of Chile being so close to that of the Lone Star State.
We get to meet up with some other overlanders, two couples traveling by truck and one on bikes….always so good to see friends.
San Pedro is relaxing and a great place to rest up after a week of long days and harder riding.
After a couple of days of laundry and pastries we double back to Calama and then turn toward Antofagasta which is on the Pacific coast.
It’s a 250 mile day and the last half is spent riding at an angle, in the wind. I’m learning quickly that the mornings are more calm here and the winds get stronger and stronger throughout the day. By the time we stop at the marker for the Tropic of Capricorn, just a few miles from Antofagasta, it looks like a blizzard here, but with sand instead of snow.
We stay for a night and the next day keep moving south along the coast at first and then head into the Atacama Desert.