Rainbow Valley & Petroglyphs – 188

Wed 8th Aug

Another day and another tour. There’s just so much to see and do here. Today I’m going to Rainbow Valley. Unfortunately I’m flying solo on this one as V is too ill to go and needs to rest up.

There’s a bit of a palaver with the pick up but soon we’re on our way. In another part of the desert lies Rainbow Valley in the Cordillera Domeyko, at 3200 meters above sea level, 60 kilometers away from San Pedro de Atacama. Domeyko mountain was named after Ignacio Domeyko mountains and is the mountain with less humidity in the world.

The valley is full of rocky mountains and cliff formations in an array of reds, greens, whites and in some cases purple.

These colors are due to the large presence of minerals that have come to the surface. It was formed by tectonic movements and volcanic activity of millions of years.

We follow the path around the valley taking in the beauty of the place and lots of photos.

After the walk it’s back to the bus for breakfast which is laid out on a table outside full of tasty meats, cheese, cake and coffee and juice.

Hunger quashed it’s onto Yerbas Buenas to see some petroglyphs. It was a bit boring to be honest. We walk around looking at some carved llamas in the walls.

And a 2-headed dragon

Boring mainly because the guide couldn’t answer or give me any information on who did them or why they were there…! It therefore felt like a bit of a filler to make the Rainbow Valley Tour a bit longer. You have to pay an entrance fee for this too of 3000cp which really isn’t worth it – but there are toilets and it was a pleasant walk in the sun.

Google tells me the petroglyphs were created by the Atacameno people and date back approximately 10,000 years. The petroglyphs served as a place for travellers to document their experiences and contribute to history and culture. The images depict everything from gatherings of people to livestock, camelids, llamas, and foxes.

Back in San Pedro, I meet a rested V and we go for a walk and enjoy an ice cream in the square. There are some great ice cream shops you need to try out here – but like everything else here not cheap!

I spend the afternoon in good spirits on the sun terrace until I receive news that a friend has let me down and is cancelling the plans we had been making for the last 6 weeks 2 days before me getting to Santiago. To say I’m pissed off is an understatement! Genuine reasons or excuses I’m not sure but I’m peed off none the less and struggle to shift this bad mood this has put me in! Smashing a full bottle of wine all over the dorm floor didn’t help matters! Time for bed me thinks…

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