Travel Journal

Road Norte and Calama

(Saturday 9 April 2011) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 240-1 4/4-4/5/11
So it was a 22 hour bus ride with the first part at night. I managed to sleep using ear plugs as several passengers were snoring loudly. I think I’ve stopped my snoring with my weight loss at least I don’t wake myself up like I sometimes did in the past. I’ll defer to Julie on the validity of this. With day came quite different scenery. The land was become more and more arid as we headed north to the desert region of this country. The bus station in Calama is a couple kilometers out of town so I caught a taxi to what I read on the internet was the cheapest reasonable place to stay in town. It was $32 and not much of a bargain but it would have to do.
The next morning I got tickets for a bus to San Pedro leaving in an hour or so. I thought briefly about going to see Chuquicamata outside of town which is the world largest open pit copper mine but then it’s really just a hole isn’t it? I had seen a copper mine on one of our family trips when I was young – I think it was in Arizona. Also it was another Amazing Race stop but that wasn’t enough to sway me.
Things are overpriced in the town because the miners are paid well and there are many rich business people coming in all the time so I was glad I was leaving unaware of what lied ahead in San Pedro.


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