Simpsonpenita Day 53 Feb 17
Off to a train steam cemetery that has only been abandoned25-30 years! It was used to transport people and minerals during theNitrate mining days. We stopped and got to walk across the Tropic ofCapricorn (a highlight for a Geographer!). Desert, desert and moredesert! Actually the Atacama Desert is the driest in the world, thereare some spots that havenapos9t registered rain in 50 years. Then to theAtacama salt flat, we drove on a salt road to get there and got somegood photos. Then on to an oasis on the slopes of the Andes calledPeine. Historically, this location was important for the Atacameños,Incas and a first stop for Spanish conquistadors on their way southfrom Peru. We swam in the pool in Peine, well I dipped my feet then hada nap in the van. Afterwards we headed to the Natural Reserve LosFlamencos (Laguna Chaxa), saw the pink flamingoes (one of the oldestbirds alive, their fossils date back 30 million years) some smalllizards and some other birds. We watched the sun set (it only took 4 or5 minutes!) and got a few nice photos. Then we got to San Pedro deAtacama and I shared a dorm room with an Irish couple (Jon Paul andJenni) and Carole. Most of the group went to dinner together, itincluded a glass of wine, pisco sour, an appetizer (half a tomato withtuna and an olive on top) a main course and a desert! Stayed up latechatting with group again, this time I didnapos9t drink much but the drivergot drunk and was harrassing me! Asking if I took ridilin. haha.