Atacama Desert

After 2 months in New Zealand it was time for me to head off again. Heading South for another Antarctic season. However, I wanted a little adventure on the way. For some time I wanted to see the Atacama Desert. Some places have a special ring to it and for me the Atacama was always such a place, distant and full of mystery. So I took the opportunity and spent 6 days there. , Photographing, sweating and exploring the area. The landscape is truly stunning. Already when arriving in San Pedro de Atacama from the nearest airport in Calama I was blown away. You enter through the Valley of Dinosaurs and pass the Valley of Deaths, red rock formation that look like sleeping stego sauruses. The Moon valley for sunset was my next destination. Piedras Rochas, the red rocks close to a salt lagoon on the high Plateau at 4200m was my favourite. Mainly because I only had o share this scenery with 7 others. All other places around San Pedro are crowded with tourists.  In the salt water lagoon which is apparently saltier than the dead sea I floated, feet up in the air. At Laguna Chaxa I aw my first flamingos. I explored the nigh sky with telescopes, its a dark sky reserve and one of the biggest radio telescope stations, ALMA, is just being build there. In town I met a meteorite collector who spent 25 years trawling the desert for meteorites and who now exhibits them in a funky museum that looks like a giant golf ball. The Rainbow Valley was impressive because of all the different colours in the rocks, caused by different minerals.