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San Pedro de Atacama – Salta by bus (11hours)

This will remain my only real bus ride (+5hrs) during my entire holiday – sounds almost pathetic… but yes it is true. I think this is not my desired mean of transport.

Although I have to admit it was not too bad, despite the fact there is simply not enough space for your legs, the backpack and myself. I really don’t know what engineers think when they design the so called ‘first class’ coaches.

Nevertheless… once squeezed into my seat it turned out to be pretty comfy – though i wouldn’t have minded another person next to me… she was taking almost every minute a picture accross myself which was kind of a pointless mission as the reflection in the window was killing it all (i picked some of the best in this post… total waste of space on the memory card!). However she kept going… and i joined her in with taking some pics… felt somehow too disinterested if i had continued reading…. She even explained me when it was really worth taking one ha ha.

So after about 100 pictures we reached the Chilean / Argentinian border. Far too early for my liking as i still had apples in my bag and the sandwiches intended for lunch were still untouched. Having said that it was mainly due to the signs at the border which were very clear: you were not allowed to bring any fruits/veggies, no dairy products, no meat, no nothing across the border. Well what to do – i didn’t want to rely on the crappy snacks they would provide later but also not get unnecessarily in troubles. So i decided to quietly throw the apples in a bin but keep the cheese sandwiches in the bag.

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At the scanner it meant keeping fingers crossed — and yes either they didn’t care or they didn’t see them. Unfortunately i missed to bring my big bag for the scanning in the first place which meant i had to go another time through the scanner….. but no objection against my lunch – yess!

After about 1h at the border, they distributed the first snack box just before continuing the journey. Man was i glad i had my sandwiches… you really don’t want to rely on this stuff. Chocolate, crisps, marshmallows, fruit juice, candies and energy bars. Well actually not so bad – just not what i consider as a lunch.

To be honest besides all these silly non important comments this bus ride was probably the most beautiful i have ever done. Driving across a pass of i cannot remember what altitude, passing beautiful volcanos, mountains coloured by it’s various minerals, salt flats and spectacular serpentine roads. Due to its beauty it passed surprisingly fast… i would have never imagined that.

An absolute must for anybody travelling from Chile to Argentina even if the start of this post is hinting in the other direction.

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