We went to the coast and visited fishing villages and small towns like Caleta Punta Choros, Huasco, Totoral, Caldera, Chañaral, and Taltal. Between some of these towns, we traveled through the coastal mountains on unpaved roads, most of which were in an acceptable condition.
This is mining country, and we took a side trip to places like Inca de Oro and Diego de Almagro. On our way toward San Pedro de Atacama, we also drove past the world's largest open-pit copper mine near Calama; it is called Chuquicamata.
|Desert coastal mountains/Küstengebirge/Costa desertica|
|Descending to the coast/Runter zur Küste/Bajando a la costa|
|Take a number/Nummer ziehen, bitte/Tome una ficha|
We hunkered down in the tiny village of Pukara Lasana, situated in a steep canyon and protected from the blowing dust storm on the plateau. Right there are the ruins of a pre-Columbian fortress, built in the 12th century. It is well protected, with the canyon wall on one side and the river on the other.For three days, we parked next to these ruins on a family farm, which also had a restaurant and picnic area.
|Diego de Almagro, Chile|
|Desert geology/Wüstengeologie/Geología del desierto|
|Give me five!|