From the freezing mountains of Bolivia to the sweltering desert of Chile...we have had a very relaxing (albeit sweaty!) few days in San Pedro de Atacama, just about 50kms west of the Bolivian border.
The temperature for our first couple of days here has been in the high 30s, while yesterday it cooled off to a much more tolerable 28. It has been too hot to do much of anything, which has suited us fine as it has taken us some time (and a few naps!) to recover from our last few days in Bolivia.
San Pedro is a very touristy town, largely because of it's preserved Colonial style and it's very mellow, laid back feel. It feels very much like a surfer town - without the surf!
We did manage to muster up enough energy yesterday to take to the slopes - sandboarding!
It's funny, I can't even count how many times Pete and I have been told that we were a waste of space in Calgary - living so close to the Rocky Mountains yet never taking up skiing or snowboarding. The thought of spending a whole day in the cold never appealed to me, but if I can do the same thing in a warmer climate...BRING IT ON!!
We were a small group of seven plus our instructor, and none of us seven had ever done it before. Our instructor drove us to a sand dune in 'Death Valley'. Scary, right?
Pete and I ended up finding it super easy, we were easily the best of the seven (yes! I am always this modest!) We both decided afterwards that we think that it might have to do with the fact we are both curlers - keeping our balance on the board was not a problem. I only fell once, and Pete never did! About halfway through the morning, the instructor told me that he thought my board was too big for me, plus I think I was on the board backwards - switching my leg position around seemed more natural. I seemed to be doing okay though, so the instructor didn't want to change it.
Next time we do it, I'll be sure to get the equipment all figured out and I'll be able to kick Pete's ASS!
So today is our last day lazing around town and at 8:45pm we board an overnight bus to Arica and THE BEACH! We are both very excited to be heading back down these mountains to sea level and to spend some time in the water.
Riddle me this...In Sucre, we were only two hours ahead of Alberta. So, now that we traveled west into Chile, we should be even closer in time to home, right?
We are now four hours ahead! Chile practices daylight savings time, so just had their clocks spring ahead one hour (it is spring here!), and seeing as Alberta just fell back an hour, we are further apart. Makes phoning home more difficult!