Here is the San Pedro instalment chicos! I´m still in La Paz and feeling fine.
Now we are in super desert. Flat dirt planes that reach out in an arrow straight road to the very distant mountains. Been sat on the bus about 10 hours and all that has changed is the light. Sat in the front with a panoramic view of stretches of nothing, just occassional burnt out car. Very calm bus journey with lots of friendly people. Gals from france, couple from Isreal, one from Belgium. Of course they all speak various languages to a near fluent level. Dryest desert in the world, very strange land. Shams has informed me that there are hallucinagenic cacti around here but havnt seen anything. We must be arriving, there is green in this valley…yes!
Got off the bus, picked up my djembe, bag, bumbag, rucksack, 2lt water, 2 sacks of fruit, sleeping bag, and tent and got lost trying to find hostel amoungst white low walls, sand and patchy plants. Pretty high up here, thing it’s affecting me a bit- breathing is a bit strange and feel very faint.. Still, very happy to be here. Unpacked into a very cute double room, shady patio and friendly staff. Eating lots of fruit, avocado, pasta and tuna and lye down for a little while. Got a hell of a cold and keep waking up with snot dripping everywhere in night buses. Also due to my panoramic top seat last night id open my eyes half asleep to be greeted with the view of hurtling high over dark roads and headlights flying towards me. Had to squeeze eyes shut and force myself back to sleep. Very happy when bus man woke me to tuck me in with a blanket at about 1am. Cold in desert nights.
Very content in San pedro home. Sunny, shady, leafy patio land, woven wood and terracotta brick. Sky blue cealing and flip flops passing in sleepy intervals. Visited laguna cejal yesterday and happily floated in the salt on the Salar de Atacama. Cordillera speckled with cload shadows . Then to a flat white body of water, watery sheen over bed of salt crustation in the sunset. Beautiful. Drank pisco sour, typically with the tour guide/driver and some nice french and chilean companions. Air is too thin for much exhersion. Back to bed after a shower to run off the salt that had crusted onto our skin. 3am wake up this morning- sleepy drive- 4400km up in the crater of a massive volcano. Spitting and glugging near boiling water and steaming about. Tasty brekbrek in sunrise- galletas, sandwiches, tea. Cold made me nostalgic. Crunched velvet mountain peaks. Swam in natural hot pool and got dizzy from sulpher fumes. altitude and pleasure. Cold fresh air in my face and warm below the hissing water line. Then we drove in the massive natural landscape that is a thousand times better than any postcard because you can feel the magnitude in every direction. Yellow grasses, glowing mountains and sky blue apart from plumes around the volcano peaks. Animals all very chilled- vicunas, zorros and chinchilla thing. Birds resting in a grassy river that leads to the most immense view.Talking to the guide he told me that the indiginous chileans were amazing warrior people and never flinched through torture even when their hands were cut off. We visited the highest village in chile where only 10 inhabitants live in the old ways. Calm and silent, keeping their secrets and darkly surveying hourds of tourists that had come to look. Walked up to the tiny white church where the people throw eggs at the bells on new year for good luck, breathing fast in the thin air. 8 small pews inside facing a wall adorned with beautiful figures , candles, fruit and offerings. One small man with dark copperish skin and sad face leant on the back one preying so I left quietly. Later ate a llama kebab.
Back at the hostel and casual travelled chicos keep stationing themselves outside the hostel to demonstrate their cool languages. Hundreds of brazilians at every corner, chilling around talking in their exherted sing song exclamations. Cracks me up, its like spanish but with 50% “ou” and “sh” sounds and a strange descening melody. Earlier on it was a super french couple saying super french things.
Have to leave san Pedro today and feeling rather regretful after having met so many sweeties. Probably see Claire and Daniella again in Sucre and the best new Brazilian friends in Arequipa. Flavio and Mateus been teaching me portugues- “Ao”, “aw”? “no thats not right, its “ao” Then resumes chatting to other Brazilians, he mentions Sao Paulo then whips his head round and says “you heard that its “sao” They both have good vibes and it’s nice we gonna be seeing them again.
Love San Pedro a bit, delicate noises in La Plaza. Chatty, birdy noises and the tinkle of travellers passing through the brush of dusting the dry floor and of dusty feet. The guys from the hostel (best hostel ever) heard we would be leaving and so arranged a BBQ for us just after we had made an immense spagbol for us and the guys so we had very rounded tummies. Jose also gave us a lift to the bus station today. Nearly had to brush a tear away everyone is so nice.
Stay put for update- to Arica