The Atacama desert

It’s the world’s driest desert.  We’ve seen flamingos, vicunas, llamas, and beautiful smaller birds.  The mountains are stunningTierra Atacama is arguably the best hotel experience I’ve had.  Cheese on seafood actually can taste good, even in the desert; that is the real Chilean miracle.  Bolivia is about twenty kilometers away.  I am told there are 100,000 active land mines around (all marked and thus safe); the only question is which neighbor is a bigger worry.  The town of San Pedro de Atacama remains in that rare sweet spot between under- and over-touristed.  Very good sweaters go for $26.  One restaurant advertises that the apples in its "Apple Pie a la Mode" come from the United States; Alex at least will get the joke.  A visit here is likely to convince you there is life on Mars.


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