Cimg0003_8

It is hard to convey the grandness of the landscape around San Pedro de Atacama with a photo. A large volcano looms behind. And local sights included a giant hole made by a meteorite, only recently discovered through satellite photography.

Cimg0010_2

Strange vast vistas abound.

Cimg0012_1

Jason stood Wile E. Coyote style.

Cimg0006_1

One evening, we hiked through the Valley of Death, and appropriately, watched a couple mountain bikers and a ¨sand boarder¨ risk life and limb on the dunes.

Cimg0013_1

The Valley of the Moon, which gets amazing light at sunset, sounded more tranquil. We headed over with our group of nice British and Canadian tourists. Climbing up the hill to see the red-lit landscape was incredibly exhausting, due to the high altitude of San Pedro. We also noticed that one wrong step could lead to a lethal tumble down the hillside. Not so tranquil. It was an incredible, martian sunset though.

Cimg0008_1

Jason commented that the landscape looked like a backdrop from a B-rated sci-fi movie.

The trip down, after dark, was a little scarier. The "being responsible for your own life or death" concept is big in South America.