QuickPeek: Bus Ride

It was great staying with Lucia an meeting her very artistic and talented family. We had had real good time sharing a lot of laughter and good conversations and it was time to head out. Leaving from La Serena, we had, but, a few options. The more popular and logical option was to head north towards San Pedro de Atacama and then travel into Argentina or Bolivia from there. The paso de Agua Negra was close by, but there were no buses operating along that route. So we decided to go on the more well travelled route.

We bid farewell to Lucia and she was super sweet and even dropped us at the bus station pretty late at night. There were no direct buses to San Pedro and the longest ride we could get was to a mining town called Calama. We took an overnight bus and it took all of 15 hours to get to Calama after numerous stops yong the way. When I got up in the morning, we had left behind the semi-arid region of Central Chile and were pretty deep in the Arid plains of North Chile. The view was stark with rocky landscape with nary a tree in sight. The roads were long, flat and straight – arid and sunny. Along the way, in the middle of nowhere, one could spot a couple of lonely trucks digging out dirt in the distance. The mining operations and probably some road works were a common sight.

Incredible change in landscape and feel for the place after a few hours of drive! I cannot imagine this route being any fun at all to ride a bike in, for sure.

Once in Calama, I tried to look for buses to San Pedro and after a bit of walking about, spotted a second bus station with a bus starting soon. We took that and it was another hour and a half thro mountains and a stunningly otherworldly landscape to get to San Pedro. It was dark when we got into town and we walked the couple of k’s to our host in town! We were super lucky to find yet another lovely host, Alexandra, who invited us into her home warmly and made us feel comfortable. It was a nice space and felt like a great place to be to explore parts of, what is, the driest desert on the planet! Looks like the next few days is going to be fun!

Track Notes

Expenses: SG$ 9.63
Comments: A bus ride for nearly 20 hours.