It truly pained me to leave Patagonia. As I’m sure you, my noble reader, are aware, certain places can strike a chord so to speak. Patagonia is definitely such a place for me and high upon the list of places I want to go back to. The fact that my last three days there were spent watching the rain douse Bariloche in no way diminishes my love for that storied and magical land. Complements of surprisingly high airfare I hopped on a pair of buses for a whimsical 23 hour journey to Santiago before a quick jaunt north to the Atacama.
It wasn’t all bad. I did get to watch the Chilean women’s team beat Uruguay in a rowdy bar at the Osorno bus station.
It was a good time and a singular experience to be sure. That being said the food there was somewhat terrible and so when I finally got to Santiago the next morning I figured a proper breakfast with mandatory breakfast beer. was in order.
Lest I digress and wax poetic about a grand omelette and the corresponding out of focus photograph I’ll return to the point. The Atacama Desert welcomed me with a grand sunset and an impressively rapid sunburn.
It’s actually quite hard to believe that this trip is over. Today was my last day abroad ( I mean technically I’ll be in Chile for another day, but it’s a day that will be entirely on the road ). I figured I should go out with a bang so I was like who needs to acclimatize? Let’s go summit Cerro Toco. Standing 5600 meters above sea level it would represent, by a fairly large margin, the highest mountain I would have stood atop. Not gonna lie; when we got out of the beat up old Toyota pickup and I could really feel that elevation, I began to seriously question my decision. But then I remembered the guide was playing Thievery Corporation on the way up. I mean Thievery Corporation!!!!!! The Richest Man In Babylon no less. Oddly enough, classic trip-hop seems to be really popular in the Atacama. Who knew? It had to be a sign right? Not just trip hop, but 90’s grunge is also quite popular. Since I’ve been here I’ve heard the Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden and the Smashing Pumpkins.
That shit was hard. It turns out that if you don’t acclimatize it’s challenging to hike at 18,000 feet. Who knew? Haahahaha. None the less I’m going to take this opportunity to be all like 18,386 feet is more mental than anything else 🙂
The right side of the background is Bolivia, for whatever that’s worth. I think those mountains in the background might be in the film Baraka, for whatever that’s worth. In any event the view from up there is pretty ballin’. The buildings in the following pictures are some of the astronomical observatories for which the Atacama is known (including ALMA in the first one, for whatever that’s worth hahaha).
The real reason I came out here though was to see the stars. Until now I never had a real opportunity to photograph the stars. If you read my last post you know that my camera and I have not been on the best of terms lately. However I believe this was an excellent opportunity to patch things up. Sadly, the results weren’t spectacular. Of course the little guy wasn’t really designed for this kind of thing and I suspect(or hope at least) that when I get home and use some photo stacking software the results will be a little better. Anyway here is the Southern Cross and a bit of the Milky Way (Via Lactica).
Well I don’t know what comes next. I’d like to say that the principle reasons I came on this little jaunt have been sorted out or that I have found some sort of illumination, but that’s none of your damn business Dan and I’ll thank you to stay out of my personal effects! Just kidding. I will keep the site going after this, though I don’t know what it will become or what I will become. Will there be some Cronenbergian Brundlefly thing, or something less grotesque? Likely it will be some ranting and raving about whatever. Perhaps it will become one with the cosmos and the universal divine that is beyond words. HAHAHAHAHA freaking Austral Calafate.
I’m not sure what song to put on today. I was getting coffee when I heard this for the first time;
Of course cruising to 5000 meters with Thievery Corporation demands some of this;
Somehow those don’t seem to fully capture the right mood. I mean this is my last day before I return to the States so I should probably go out with something glorious right? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Gonna have to go old school on this one. It has nothing to do with anything regarding the trip or whatever but I think it satisfies the glorious requirement and “when the water breaks” is a metaphor for the beginning of new life as I return. HAHAHA yeah that’s it. That’s totally not bull shit 🙂 In any event I give you the madness and the maelstrom of Liquid Tension Experiment. My only qualm is that the engineer for this album totally screwed up the mix. You can barely hear the bass player and he’s doing some righeous thumping!