Chile Day 9 – Desert Beauty, Salar de Atacama

These photos are just so beautiful that I decided to put them up even though I drank very little wine during these two days. San Pedro di Atacama where I was staying was very hot and dusty. Water was my main companion. We tended to get up really early in the morning to go on expeditions to the various attractions in order to be there at day break. During the afternoon hours I tried to take a siesta but also wandered around a bit together with the local crowd (of doggies). Isabel Allende, the famous writer from Chile, wrote in her novel My Invented Country which I highly recommend that she had never known a Chilean to buy a dog. Apparently, they just follow you home and become part of your family.

salt-lakes

This was the Salar de Atacama, the world’s third largest salt lake after the one in Utah and the largest one of all, the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. As soon as I got home from Chile, the New York Times had a big article on lithium that is being retrieved from these salt flats. Chile, Bolivia and Peru all have heavy mining industries and mixed records with the environment in this area. There is much concern in the local communities over their future but there is also widespread poverty and mining activities bring jobs. As always, there are no easy answers our guide said with a shrug.

laguna-miscanti

This Altoplano lake was surrounded by mountains and beautiful desert grasses. This lake is part of Los Flamencos National Reserve.

andean-flamingos

These Andean flamingos were truly incredibly with their black back feathers and gorgeous pink beaks. Watching them fly over the lake was very exciting.

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