Countries 5 Hotels 16 Cars 35
Flights 11:flying time 46.07 hours
Rickshaws 4 Buses 3 Elephant 1 Boat 1
Cog-wheel train 2 Cable cars 4 Subway 4 Ferry 2
Minibus 19 Coach 2 Catamaran 1 Funicular 3
Pick up truck 1
I got up at 4 this morning to go to El Tatio Geysers because, I am told, they are at their best at sunrise. So I’m in a minibus, with six other humans, and with only a few hours sleep, it’s pitch black outside so I can’t see anything and the roads are so bumpy that I can’t sleep either, hey ho. After a couple of hours of this joy our guide shouts at us, nicely, to wake up, those of us lucky enough to be asleep, we are at the last toilets for three hours. I and the other humans in the mini bus trek out to the loos, it’s -5, seriously cold. Once back in the bus we drive a couple of minutes and I see what looks like smoke from several points in the ground, we are here!
Situated at altitude of 4,320 meters above sea level on the Altiplano, are El Tatio Geysers, a geothermal field flanked by volcanoes and mountains. There are about forty geysers, thermal wells and fumaroles here. The mini bus is parked and all seven humans follow our guide onto the thermal field as he tells us all about these steaming delights.
We spend about an hour walking around these extraordinary sights. There’s bubbling boiling water, spurting out of a tub of rock; little wisps of steam escaping from tiny holes in the ground; a boiling angry pool; a gentle trickle of steaming hot water and beautiful coloured rock formations a result of the mineral rich waters that ooze out of the ground.
It was freezing, my hands froze taking these photos, there was so much steam it was difficult to get a good shot.
We then had breakfast at the car park by the side of the geysers. The tour guide and driver are father and son and they prepared all the breakfast, which was laid out on a table by the dad while his son was taking us round the field, hot drinks, sandwiches, boiled eggs, biscuits and special fruit and nuts for me, ha!
As it was light on the way back I was able to see what I had missed in the morning, although it’s a desert it is quite beautiful in a barren sort of way.
It’s my last day in Chile, my favourite country of the trip so far, the people are lovely, the country has everything, desert, mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, beaches, culture, lakes, vineyards, I loved it.