Monthly Archives: September 2009

Atacama Desert, Chile, September 2008

I figured I should get off my butt and post up some pics and a little writeup of this trip. It was from last September actually. Part of my tardiness was that I didn’t even have a camera with me, but instead was relying on my buddy and cohort to send me the shots. Over the course of the past winter after repeatedly bugging him, he’d send me one or two at a time! Torture! haha Anyway, the pictures will do most of the talking, I’ll keep the verbage light.

First off the initial nature of this trip was for work. We were down there for a training camp that we do every September in La Parva, Chile. La Parva is a great little ski area nestled up high above Santiago in the Andes. It adjoins to both Valle Nevado and El Colorado ski areas. The first day we skied after arriving we had the pleasant suprise of finding that there was a nice blanket of fresh pow and bluebird conditions. We skied over to Valle Nevado and I shot some video, the video that follows. The reason us coaches have no poles, or helmets for that matter was because we were going up with the intention of training and after reaching the summit decided to call of training. haha The girls were on their gs skis, not exactly ideal but we all had fun…

Once the camp was over was where the real adventure began though. Shaun and I had arranged our plane tickets so that we had 6 days after the completion of the camp to explore. After MUCH finaggling at the airport we ended up rolling out of there with a nice bright red, crew cab, turbo diesel Chevy Luv. Only bummer was it was 2wd but that would not deter us! As we headed out of the airport and toward the Pan American Highway, we flipped a coin to see which way we would go literally! This trip was going to be completely by the seat of our pants. I had solicited some info from the Hackneys regarding sights to check out either direction but we were deliberatly going in without a plan. We had a the Luv and an assortment of our ski clothing to use for sleeping in the truck. We picked up a cooler at the Jumbo and some food supplies and that was it. The coin showed heads and North we rolled, towards the Atacama.

We spent the next couple of days working our ways up the coast. We cruised through small fishing villages, ate in little eateries that were sometimes nothing more then shacks along the coast. Los Vilos, Coquimbo/La Serena, Vallenar, then Copiapo which was really where you started to get into the Atacama. Even along the coast now it was a fairly sterile and harsh landscape. From the town of Taltal we took a dirt road that followed along the coast, then climbed up into the highlands were the landscape literally looked like they could have filmed the Apollo landings there. We spent a cold night here but with the most brilliant stars I’d seen. The next day we rolled down into Antofaghasta to get some food supplies.

This was the view we were treated to as the humidity from the ocean met the dry desert of the Atacama that morning.
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