YA LEUM.60 — From Atacama Desert to the Uyuni Salar…part I

Patricia Assis
4 min readJun 9, 2021

In the previous post we had an unforgettable arrival at the Atacama Desert…

The desert of Atacama is the oldest in the world, being 150 million years old. This desert, which is also one of the driest in the world, covers a distance of 1000 Km between two important mountain stretches: La Costa and Andes.

The precipitation here is inferior to 1mm per year, which makes it hard for the different ecosystems to survive. However, it is possible to find red scorpions, foxes, desert wasps, and butterflies.

There is a lot to see in the Desert of Atacama and even if there was not, the landscape never gets old.

In Atacama, we visited Valle de La Luna (the moon valley), which is right after the exit from Atacama. It is one of the most popular places and one easily understands why. As we leave the desert, it seems like we are stepping on the moon: sand dunes, peaks, and small caverns with ochre tones, between dark yellow and bright red. We could walk freely and guess how the rest of the Universe is.

During one of the nights, we visited the admirable astral sky of Atacama, with its million years of existence, showing us the way through the stars until the universe.

After two days in the tourist village of Atacama, we hit the road for 4 days to get to Bolivia. That was a wonderful experience, in nature and on the road, with a charming group of people.

We started our trip at 5 a.m., before sunrise. The driver, a cheerful Chilean, short but with plenty of energy, stopped in our hostel house to get our travel companions. A Brazilian with a good vibe, two adventurous and peaceful French girls, and a Polish woman, aged 55, who was traveling the world alone for 20 years while writing about the experience.

We were still sleepy in our first stop, which was at the Tropic of Capricorn, one hour away from the village of Atacama. This is an interesting geographic point due to its location at Lat. 23° 26’ 16” and it is one the start of one of the Inca paths that lead to Cuzco, from the time when the Inca Empire connected Cuzco in Peru to Santiago, the capital of Chile.

We continued our trip and, two hours later, the next stop was for breakfast and to visit the Lagunas Altiplanicas. Sunrise was starting and we stopped the car in front of a lagoon, with a mountain as the background. Our driver prepared an utterly delicious feast. It was a pleasant fresh morning, and the sun was rising slowly.

Mathieu and I, sat on a rock, eating and enjoying that incredible view over the lagoon Miniquis, which is still engraved in my memory.

Other 4x4 were stopping around, still the landscape was quite and magical.

I was filled with such a happy moment that I can still feel it nowadays.

We were in the Altiplanic Lagoons. I loved that place! It is so beautiful that I cannot even describe it. A similar feeling and a beauty we experienced, when we arrived in Atacama for the first time.

The Altiplanic Lagoons, with peaceful waters, and the clear tones are at the base of the volcanos and the mountain range of the Andes. The land is arid and void, and the sun and the sky live in harmony, creating a magical and unforgettable scenario.

Here, I saw some of the most beautiful landscapes nature ever created.

From this moment on, I witnessed the immensity of nature and its intrinsic beauty, which is impossible to describe. There, nature does not know the speed of the cities, the noises people create, the ideas of the world, the thoughts of mankind. There, we are natural, right at the start, the origin.

The trip continued through the desert. Sometimes, when we stopped to take photos, other 4x4 passed by. It was beautiful to see other people experience the same as we.

The mood in the car was always fun, except while we took alternate naps. Other than that, we shared music and stories about our lives and trips. We all got along, and, in fact, we really enjoyed spending time together!

To be continued…

February 2018,

Patricia Assis

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Patricia Assis

I am traveler, wanderer, believer who have a deep connection with the inner world.