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San Pedro de Atacama and around and then south.

Flag Chile

Monday, December 24 2012

8 years, 5 months, 2 days

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Current Vehicle 62,322km

Trekking 1,033km

Train 8,471km

Land Rover 73,588km

Other cars 209,867km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm. > journey > south-america > argentina-chile > 20121224-san-pedro-atacama

After the adventure.

Map, around San Pedro Atacama, and to Antofagasta.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

The days pass by after the Bolivia adventure, and soon the friends leave in all directions, too soon, while I am left in San Pedro de Atacama with a ton of work. All the Google map apps stuff on my site needs changing as Google released an update, deprecated the old version, to somebody who is not a programmer like myself such an event hits hard. On top the usual photos and videos need editing, the stories writing, that keeps me busy during the day. Else I am doing not much for 3 weeks, just like the tranquility of the wild west. When late afternoon the strong thermal winds transform this desert town into a little dust bowl, and this happens everyday around 6-ish, it is time to relocate to Chela Cabur Pub, a very local affair and many times I stay till closing at 1. Later nothing goes here, then this town is dead and even I head to my hostel for some sleep till early dawn when I am back to 3 cups of Nescafe and the computer.

The Sundays, come and go, my birthday comes and goes; I turn 48 without much fanfare, Christmas comes and goes, I am alone and happy. Once I head out and get to see Valley de Luna in white haze, once Valley de Muerto and its dunes and cliffs in mellow light and horses and riders and quart-bikes, just before sunset, once the steaming and erupting amazing Geysers de Tatio north on a cold early morning after a freezing night on 4,300m, once Garganta de Diablo and I understand why it is called the devils throat. Once I bemoan the killings and be-headings in Pucara Quito of Atacameños by the Catholic Spaniards and see the women who jumped from the cliffs with babies, in my minds eye, once I drive out into the Atacama desert to wonder the formation of the Ojos del Salare, the eyes in the salt, just salt water filled holes in the flat ground. On 25th the last group of Israelis moves out of my ghostly, friendly, so quiet and optimal for work hostel, but as summer holidays are starting, this all will change soon and transform Pedro into a lively and busy jet-set; it is high time for me to say Goodbye.

On an overcast day. Chile, Atacama, Valley de Luna.
Valley de Luna.
Chile Atacama, on way to gesers.
Sun come out over the altiplano.
In front of a volcano, north of San Pedro de Atacama, 4,300m..
Evening, the road and dust.
On altiplano, Atacama desert, Chile.
Sunset under a dark cloud.
At the Geysers of Tatio.
Out the earlier the better.
Geysers of Tatio, Chile, Atacama.
Smoke on the water.
Stream on Chilean altiplano. Atacama.
Stream on Chilean altiplano.
A ditch in the rock full of salty water. Valley de Luna, old salt mines, Atacama.
A ditch full of green salty water.
Stream passing White Geyser. Atacama, Chile.
Stream passing White Geyser.
In hot geser water.
Orange alge.
Pucara Quito, city of Atacamenos.
Pucara Quito.
# young female tourists on horses in garganta de diablo, San Pedro Atacama.
Tourists on horses.
Garganta de diablo, throat of the devil, Atatacama, near San Pedro, Chile.
Garganta de diablo.
Edible fruit, San Pedro Atacama, Catarpe valley.
Tree and fruit in desert valley.
The Cartape valley. San Pedro Atacama.
The Cartape valley.
Rio Catarpe, Catarpe valle, San Pedro Atacama, Chile.
Riders, horses in valley de muertos, San Pedro Atacama.
Riders on horses in valley de muertos.
San Pedro Atacama, quatbikes, in valley de muertos.
Quatbikes, valley de muertos.
Eyes in the Salt flat desert, Atacama.
Ojos de Salare.
Eyes in the Salt flat desert, Atacama.
Ojos de Salare.
Ojos, there are two are the eyes in the salt of the Atacama.
Chevy at Ojos.

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The Atacama desert a bit south and the lagunas between.

On 26th of December I find my work to be done and good, I drive south and up the altiplano east, where every mountain is a volcano and those who don't look like ones are ones too, the lava here is never far, and who knows which one blows up next. High altitude lagunas are nested in between them, and Miscanti and Miñiques, the two I bother to see are precious, the Guanacos grace at the shores, some Andean gulls come close and hope for tourist food, I stay for night and watch the change in colors before an almost full moon rises on 4,200m.

Atacama desert, better take that picture, might be last tree for a long time.
Atacama desert, last tree.
Atacama, salt desert, near San Pedro.
Salt desert, near San Pedro.
Driest desert in the world, Atacama.
The former last tree in Atacama.
Flat pan, Atacama desert.
Flat pan.
Atacama desert salt crust, Chevy van.
Salt crust.
Laguna Tebinquinche, Tatacama desert.
Laguna Tebinquinche.
Salare Laguna Tebinquinche, Atacama.
The rusty and the white.
Atacama, earth and volcano.
Earth and volcano.
Volcano and old lava, Atacama.
Where lava came to halt.

There is this picture I take of one of the last trees as I drive out into the salt desert, as I figure that this might be the last tree and then I see a stump at a road crossing and think, yes there must have been trees before.

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Lagunas Miscanti and Miñiques.

A the shore high up at 4,200m guanacos on Laguna Miniques.
Guanacos, on Laguna Miniques.
Andean gull on Laguna Miniques.
White Andean gull.
Little twister blows san up, Laguna Miniques.
A little sand twister on Laguna Miniques.
Laguna Miniques and white Andean gull.
Laguna Miniques and white gull.
Sand twister fades away over Laguna Miniques.
Twister fades over Laguna.
Laguna and Volcan Miniques.
Laguna and Volcano.
Chevy van were I spend night, Laguna Miniques, Chile.
Chevy van up near Laguna Miniques.
Laguna Miniques late.
Laguna Miniques late.
Volcan Miniques later.
Volcan Miniques later.
Fresh cold morning on Laguna Miscanti.
Morning Laguna Miscanti.
Cerro Miscanti and Chiliques in back of Lagunas Miscanti, Chile.
Miscanti Laguna.
Yellow scrub, in volcano country, northern Chile.
Altiplano in Volvano country.

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Road over Salare de Atacama.

After a cold night I leave the Andean mountains, cross the white of the Salare de Atacama, its rough structured surface is so different from Uyuni's, the salt rock sculptures rise a meter high from the ground over the whole of the flats.

Is me, before driving road onto Atacama Salare.
Lets go on Atacama Salare.
My road on Atacama Salare.
Road on Atacama Salare.
Salare de Atacama, so different.
Salare de Atacama.
Rough surface of Atacama salt field.
Rough surface of Atacama salt field.
Such rough surface, Atacama salt lake.
Such rough surface, Atacama salt lake.
Salt Lake of Atacama.
Salt Lake of Atacama.
Road down to Atacama Salare.
Down to Atacama Salare.
Roadside Nativity.
Roadside Nativity.
Little twister.
Little twister.

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Around Atofagasta, La Portada.

The desert stretches all the way to the coast and I reach lively Atofagasta, the bird colonies of La Portada cliffs, the beach of Juan Lopez, and the barking fishermen dogs in La Constitucion that make sure I don't stay for night.

La Portada, Antofagasta.
La Portada.
Bird colonies, La Portada.
Bird colonies.
La Portada.
La Portada.
Vulture, La Portada cliffs.
Vulture, La Portada cliffs.
The full moon behind Morro Moreno, near Antofagasta, Chile.
The full moon behind Morro Moreno.
Juan Lopez, near Antofagasta.
Juan Lopez.
Birds over Playa La Rinconada.
Birds over Playa La Rinconada.
Birds over Playa La Rinconada.
Birds over Playa La Rinconada.
2 birds with red pegs on Playa La Rinconada.
2 birds with red pegs.

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Atofagasta down to La Serena.

It is not warm on the beach in Atofagasta, still thanks to the Humboldt current; no stretch of coast since the north of Peru has been warm so-far, so no change since winter, which I had hoped for. Parking in Atofagasta would cost me 40USD a day, so I am headed on, south, and hug the coast on rough sandy roads, the water heater breaks and deprives me of coffees in the morning, I survive on one meal a day and it might be just an empanada, but beer at night gives me strength. I have a pre New Year's binge with Huasceños on the 30th in a local deep-down-and-dirty bar in Huasco. On 31st I reach La Serena, just shortly before a U-joint break brings down my cardan shaft, and the brave Chevy van ends 2012 in the garage, and it is in La Serena that I have left 5,000kms of desert coast behind me.

Over mines country and rough mining roads to the coast.
Antofagasta south.
In the desert.
My Chilean coast.
Nobody comes here.
Desert dirt roads along Chile's coast.
Endless desert coast. Chile.
Coast, Chile.
Huge boulders.
Evening light on desert mountains in the fog, near Paposo, Chile.
Back on asphalt.
Looking into sunset, Chile, near Paposo.
Like my glasses?
Desert road to Las Lomitas.
Desert road to Las Lomitas.
Cacti, spines, Las Lomitas desert, Chile.
Cacti, spines.
A few cacti and scrub in Las Lomitas desert.
Desert Las Lomitas.
The coastal desert mountain range sees a special flora, due to fog and increased humidity. Chile.
On top coastal mounts, 800m.
Mountain range, coastal Atacama desert.
Desert coastal Las Lomitas.
White sandy beaches, Pan de Azucar, Chile.
Near Pan de Azucar.
On coast sout of Caldera, Puerto Viejo, Chile.
Puerto Viejo.
To the point where I have to deflate tires.
The road gets sandy. > journey > south-america > argentina-chile > 20121224-san-pedro-atacama

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