While in San Pedro de Atacama, we got up at an ungodly hour to see the sun rise over the Tatio Geysers. Still not sure why we needed to be there for sunrise since it wasn’t particularly impressive to see the geysers at that specific moment, but that turned out to be a recurring theme of the trip so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The geysers themselves were pretty cool no matter what time of day it was.
We rode for about two hours in a busito and then nearly froze to death as we wandered around the geysers. They were similar to Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park in that they shoot hot water up from small pools, but were on a much smaller scale…with much fewer fences and walkways. Due to the fact that it was freezing I actually stood on top of one of the smaller bubbling pools for several minutes to warm my feet up…until I started to get worried that my boots would melt.
As the sun rose, we took lots of pictures and tried not to freeze. Meanwhile, our bus driver made us breakfast. Fresh hard boiled eggs were served after he put a dozen eggs in a plastic bag and set it inside one of the boiling pools. Yummm!
We took a few more pictures once the sun had risen (much better since pictures of shooting water in the dark don’t work particularly well) and then headed a little further down the valley to a natural hot springs. At this point we were finally starting to warm up and although we had our swimsuits on under all our many layers, the prospect of taking those many layers off didn’t really seem worth it. Instead we stuck our feet in and gawked at all the entertaining tourists who had stripped down to their skivvies and the very large Japanese tour group who was taking lots of pictures of their half-naked bodies in the hot springs. (we got to be in these pictures a few days later, but that will be in another post)
On the bus ride back to San Pedro de Atacama, we also stopped in a tiny desert village where we checked out their itty bitty church and sampled their llama kebabs. Not the best llama we had in the last six weeks, but still pretty exciting since it was the first!
The views on the bus ride back to San Pedro de Atacama were pretty stunning so we also stopped a few times just to get photos of cacti and rivers.
This also gave us a bit of respite from the ridiculous teenage couple who was sitting behind us in the bus…each time we stopped they got out to smoke which gave us a few minutes without their ongoing conversation of such topics as: “That grass is yellow!” “No it’s not, it’s green!” “No it’s not, it’s yellow!” “No it’s not, it’s green!” and “Teeheehee, stop tickling me”. You meet some pretty interesting people while traveling and these two definitely made our ride entertaining and annoying at the same time.