San Pedro de Atacama, Chile - Polarsteps
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile: population: about 11,000.
The town is supported by tourism and that is very obvious when you visit. I heard people talking in many languages, and it appears most are in their late 20s or 30s. I spoke to one, a man from Ireland, and he said he's met at least five people from the US on his journey. I realized today that my journey in South America starting in Colombia and going south is the opposite of what most people are doing. And there's this - everyone I have met and talked to in the past 4 months has been heading north. I have yet to meet anyone else going south. Anyway, San Pedro is very small, something like 12,000 people. There is one supermarket and one or two gas stations out on the highway. But, there are many, many, many shops catering to tourists.
There's not a lot of written history available about San Pedro. It predates the Incas. Then the Spanish came into town. I haven't found anything more than that.
So, my impressions: San Pedro is a desert town, in the Atacama desert. The parks are grey, the open spaces (green space) are grey, it's all grey. Most of the houses are built of adobe, a handful are built of wood, and the newer homes are of clay or concrete block. One thing that impressed me is the view of the mountains! From many streets, you can see multiple volcanos and the Andes Mountains. It really is an incredible view. Check the pics in the photo album. Now, as I sit here writing this blog, there is thunder and lightning and a bit of rain, very light mind you, but it is raindrops falling from the sky. One of the women here in the hostel was so impressed she was out in the bit of raindrops taking pics of the storm clouds.
My South America Journey
San Pedro de Atacama