Friday, 16 May 2014

Antofagasta de la Sierra

Dan and Sara were on a tighter frame than us so only stayed two nights but we made the most of the day heading out with Walter on a tour to the white rocks.

First up sand dunes, mum natures playground inviting the kidults to climb up and run down like silly little kids .... what a feeling hooning down.

This along the way, stunning backdrops

A small lot of plants in a small oasis in a huge expanse

Climbing up

A short break at the top to survey our magic surroundings

The full crew

The view along the ridge

Running down the slope then coming to a stop your feet get buried, the sand underneath is extremely cold.

Onward to the the white pumice rock and lunch stop, amazing what volcanic activity has displaced over the thousands of years and this place has more volcanos than BMWs parked at Starbucks (sorry Dan).

Lazibones stretching out

Cool rock formations carved out by mum natures high winds and sandblasting machine

Finishing lunch and heading back El Penon was the stopover for a coffee and cake with a relaxing sit in the sun.

Time to head home we went via some hieroglyphics carved into rock estimated to be upwards of 10000 years old.

By this time the sun was going down and it was time to head for home and get sorted, great day out with a good combo or walking, galking and talking.

A small lake with cool clouds

Last of the sun leaving us sending temperatures downwards

The following days we took it easy as I was feeling less than ideal and Ellen started going downhill too, in the evening it was dropping to -10 or so so snuggle up tight under the sheets was the number 1 option, no snuggly buggly tho.

During our stay we were invited to an asado (Bar b q), in true form they said turn up at 10 pm and food will be ready, 10.05 we turned up .....ok we will have a wine or three while we wait.

Just after 11 pm it came out and it was all on, at midnight there was more food with deserts and ice-cream, they then offered coffees etc, Ellen and I were dog tired so opted out preferring to hit the sheets.

Another tour out saw us seeing more hieroglyphs of ancient man again these being placed at 8000 - 10000 years old, incredible history here.

Next on the list, Volcan Galan which turned into a serious sandpit ride, we made it to the Laguna Grande with no problem but we were at 4600 meters and wrestling Maya through the unforgiving sandpits was a mission seeing me give in to the crest of the volcano.

That's as far as we went

On good advice from Carlos on his 350 Yammy Quad it only got worse and steeper even with him struggling so we made the right choice given I had managed to score another head cold from a generous Argie so was feeling a bit second hand.

Here is Carlos and his wife on their Quad at Laguna Grande

Lunch was had before heading back to Antofagasta.

Next mission. Antofalla.

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