Week 15 – Arrived in the northern part of Argentina, we decided to cross west to Chile in order to join the town of San Pedro de Atacama. The crossing of the Andean plateau at 4800 masl was spectacular!
On our way up to the border, we crossed the Salinas Grandes which is a very small “Uyuni” but as we were there at 6:30am (thank you Greg…) we had it for ourselves and the sunrise was absolutely beautiful! It was the perfect place to have our breakfast 🙂
The border’s surroundings were like a no mans land. It is quite amazing to find little “villages” or group of houses so high on the plateau. We passed by an astronomical observatory which lies at 5000 masl! The sky here is so clear all year long!
Driving further toward San Pedro de Atacama on the Chilean side, we passed through amazing landscapes situated at more than 4000 masl (we spent a long time between 4600 masl and 4800 masl). This part of the plateau is protected as the Reserva Nacional de Los Flamencos and is surrounded by an incredible amount of volcanoes, the highest being the red and black Licancabur with its 5916 masl. We drove along beautiful lagunas and finally reached the crazy slope of the road going from 4800 masl to 2400 masl in only 45 km which was quite impressive!
What an amazing journey!