Day 4: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile – Tatio Geysers
3am wake up? check.
Minus 8 degrees celcius? check
Not bringing sufficient clothing to keep warm? check
Today, I headed up to the Tatio Geysers. They are best between the hours of 06:00-08:00 before the sun rises above the surrounding mountains and the white plumes of smoke dissipate.
So, 3am wake up, get on the bus, and sleep for 2 hours. Its a looooong way up the mountain. Thats ok- who CANNOT fall back asleep after only getting 3 hours of sleep?
The geysers were wonderful – white smoke everywhere, with them spurting water and me playing hop scotch not to get my shoes wet. Its minus 8 degrees! I don´t need wet feet on top of my already cold body!
After 8, when the sun made the geysers not as pretty, we headed to the entrance of the park and had the option to take a dip in the thermal pools. I don´t really know why anybody would pass that up. Well, maybe because taking off your clothes in minus 8 degrees isn´t the most fun, but hey, after the original shock, you hop into a lovely hot pool. Just watch out at the bottom where in certain spots their are the vents, which BURN whatever part of you was unfortunate enough to have touched them. For me, it was repeatedly my left ankle. Read about the Tatio Geysers Here.
Afterwards, our big yellow truck was transformed into a kitchen, and the guide and driver cooked up some pancakes and bagels for the group to enjoy while the sun continued to rise over us. There is nothing like a beautiful setting to enjoy a delicious breakfast!
After the breakfast was all cleaned up, we headed to a small village. On the way, through the mountains we saw various animal species, including llamas! We had some absolutely beautiful scenery to soak up.
In the small village we explored a lovely church and the chance to buy some empanades – made with llamas meat or llama cheese, or goat cheese. YUM! I ate the Goat Cheese – and I will not lie Fresh goat cheese, adn watching the ladies prepare your empanada in front of you is incredible! And Goat Cheese here – Fresh – Is SOOOOO much more incredible than at home in Canada. YUM!
Fun Fact: There are many active volcanos surrounding San Pedro de Atacama. One of them is Volcano Putana. For the non-spanish speakers – Puta means whore. This Volcano is named because when the area originally started the mining activity, there were many men who moved to the area for work. But no woman came with, so over time, many prostitutes moved to the North for the work available. Thus, the Volcano received its name. haha I love to learn little facts like this.