Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Monday, May 5, 2014

San Pedro de Atacama IV, Miscellaneous.

Days 1142-1144,
05.04.2014 – 07.04.2014,
122 059 km since the beginning of the journey,
The Route: Talbre - San Pedro de Atacama (80 km)

It is quite interesting to see in the morning the overnight places chosen in the dark.

Sometimes in the morning it turns out that much better / smoother / less muddy /more shaded / quieter / or whateversite is located, for example, about in about 100 meters and a bit further of the road.

This time it was just plain land all around and ahead the so-called "million dollar view” at Salar de Atacama.

And the view from the other side. Surely not much difference. Plain land ahead and mountains behind. The weather is warm, the wind does not blow off the road, no rain. On the whole it does not rain here and in some places it has not rained for almost 400 years.

It is 80 kilometers back to San Pedro de Atacama from here. Why not drive back, stay at the place for a few days , look for more information from internet and make the next longer trip southwards. And one can always meet some interesting people at the camping sites.

Some examples are:

These two vehicles are from Brazil and are moving in the direction of Alaska.


At this time of the year the route is generally northwards as in Patagonia and the southern hemisphere winter will soon begin. In winter, for example, in Ushuaia and Punta Arena- one can even enjoy skiing. In both cities there are Mountain Skiing Centers after all.

Pavlina and Martin from the Czech Republic. Also, moving northwards:

One larger vehicle. Gerard from Holland has even visited Estonia. In winter. But even after a long search, I found no Estonian flag sticker on his car. And there was none.

Luckily, I have enough of them left. And the largest of the rest has found its place on his car.

Some lines about the camping site.

Camping "Los Perales" is actually a very simple - but has got everything that is important and vitally necessary. In the middle of the above picture there is an open kitchen.

There is a fridge, and gas is available. As to water - one has to provide it oneself. That means that the receptionist sells 5 liters bottles of water. The prices too – at the camping - a bottle of water cost 1,500 pesos, a few hundred meters away from the store the price of water was 1700 pesos, one hundred kilometers from Calama city it was 1200 peso. (EUR 1 = 750 Chilean pesos).

The dishes could be washed about 100 meters away. Look at the following picture.

In addition - hot water shower and a completely clean toilet. These things are also important, especially when traveling a bit longer.

But no wifi, but it is no longer important because a bunch of cell towers are right here behind the fence, and local ENTEL podcast could be used without any problem. A few more pictures of surroundings of Atacama.

A bigger road between Calama and San Pedro de Atacama. Cordillera de Sal is on the left and in the distance – one can see the dunes.

A nice place for a half day walk. You take your backpack and water and see how far (high) can be reached.


And here they go snowboarding.


Valley de la Luna is on the other side of the road. In the daytime ...

The same place at sunset.

And here in the end a different technical story. In the meanwhile, the small SONY HX9V camera turns dustier and dustier, the lens does not want to move in and out, and it is necessary to consider cleaning. The tools are (in order of the size) a tire compressor, tweezers and a screwdriver.

The process begins, of course, that you open “google”, and type "how to clean sony cybershot camera lens," and you'll find that YouTube even has a video on the topic. Lasting about 4 minutes. Actually it takes more time as the internet connection is poor for the video and cleaning must be carried out on the basis of past experience.

In itself there is nothing complicated. Just screw loose all the visible screws, put them on the table in a row, and then try somehow to reach the lens, which, after a long job even succeeds. Meanwhile, you use the compressor to blow the dust away.

Next step: You try to clean the sensor, ie you move the dust specks from one place to another.

The third step – you try to put all the pieces back together, so that no large parts will remain on the table.

I succeed- as only two small black screws are left on the table. They will have to wait to find the way back - till next time The most important thing is that the lens work again, and the image is cleaner than in the past.

Until next time.

Continued ...

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