The Atacama

I’d planned to follow the coast road – highway 1 – south of Antofagasta. After passing the mine, the first road soon became a precipitous goat track, covered in falling rocks and a long drop into the swirling waters of the Pacific below. No sign to say the road was closed, just some good old common sense.

So back to the highway, a quick stop at a tyre repair shack on the side of the highway and the Atacama was in full swing. I’ve worked and travelled in many deserts but the lack of plant and animal life in the Atacama really sets it apart. There is beauty, however, in the harshness and I drove to the top of a small hill to camp the night. Alone under a waning half moon it the rolling eroded hills in the distance shielded Chile’s massive mining industry from view.

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