Sunday, 11 January 2015

The unexpected bike ride to Laguna Cejar

Last day in San Pedro de Atacama and I had a whole day to burn waiting for the bus to depart at 7pm. Hanging around the hostel I made two new friends, Xav and Greta. I seem to be always telling people about food and where to get them since I somehow have a nose to find cheap local food out of the gringo trail even at San Pedro. Funny thing is that most of the time the locals are just park next to the tourist places, around the corner. Greta and Xav and they were convince to follow me for lunch for the unbelievable 2000 peso

Waiting at the hostel for the 2pm for lunch for the eating place was not ready, Greta said she wanted to do a bike ride to Laguna Cejar the salt lake so salty ( even more than the dead sea ) and was trying to figure out if she could catch the bus at 8pm. My bus was 7 pm and I was not about to risk it. 2 hours there and 2 hours back by bicycle was what the hostel guy advised.
We went for lunch where both of them could not believe the amount of food for that kinda price. After lunch I tagged along while Greta and Xav went to the bike shop. While they were discussing how much the bike would cost a German couple came back covered in salt. Xav asked how long it took and they say an hour ride and if you pump it maybe 45minutes. I was tempted then …. One cheaper bike ride instead of a tour with good company. Fuck it lets do it.
So I was biking like crazy forgetting that I was a smoker with lousy lungs that never exercise and was at high altitude of 2300m in the middle of a blazing dessert. About 20km of dirt road in blazing hot and dry dessert I survived and we all reached the salt lake. Then we all went for a dip in the salt lake. It was really buoyant so much that it was difficult to swim as there was a high tendency to pop up. Even turning was hard as we laugh our ass off trying to move here and there. It was even awkward swimming. Getting out of the lake the salt would crystalized all over the body making it tingle and itch.
The view of the volcano at the background with no one around but the 3 of us plus maybe 4 other people far on the other side of the lake made the bike ride worth it. 4pm came and it was time to head back else I would have missed the bus. Just as we were about to head back busses after busses came streaming in from the tour company. The tours was visiting the salt lake all at the same time and suddenly the lake was flooded with tourist. Not so serene after that but we had our smile that we would not be sharing the lake with that crowd.  
Back to the hostel and a quick shower I got to the bus station just in time to rest my aching butt for the 10 hours bus ride to Iquique.


No comments:

Post a Comment