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127 hours – in San Pedro the Atacama

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It was like that movie, 127 hours. I went biking to the desert with some girls. It was great, there was no one else around. We found some interesting mountains we climbed and admired the views. We found some great caverns to explore. But we couldn’t find an underground lake into which to dive, so we decided to head back and I didn’t have to cut off my hand, which was good. The end.

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I haven’t seen the actual movie, just the trailer, but at least according to that, I’m pretty sure that’s all that happens in the movie.

But it really was a great day out. We rented some mountain bikes from our hostel in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, bought lunch (bread, avocados, tomatoes and cheese); and headed into the desert. And the great thing was, there really wasn’t anybody else around. Well, one Brazilian girl we ran into a few times, but that was about it.

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Lots of the rock formations were made of salt, or salt crystals that still were in the process of drying, making a peculiar sound if you listened carefully. Like a tiny occasional cracking sound, which sounded a bit worryingly actually when you were in a canyon made of the salt crystals.

But in the end, it was a day of goodbyes, as our group finally broke after traveling all the way from Potosi in Bolivia together. Some of us headed south and some north on the night buses, few of us headed east.

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San Pedro de Atacama itself is actually a very pleasant little town. Very touristy I do have to say, but the center is actually quite nice. Very relaxed atmosphere, with no cars in the center, just pedestrians and bikes.

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But seriously, they could use a little imagination, this must be fourth village I have been on this trip that’s been called San Pedro.

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