Star Gazing San Pedro de Atacama

Today was another very relaxing day, filled with warm lentil soup and South American empanadas (basically Spanish pasty’s), errand shopping with friends, where Juliet and I found some of the most hilarious souvenirs including gnome hats and rude wooden toys and some hilarious stories.


Firstly, our vegetarian empanadas (as stated on the menu under the vegetarian section: filled with cheese and season vegetables) had more ham in than anything else. Definitely NOT vegetarian! We were tempted to tell the waiter but we thought the message might be lost in translation…

The next hilarious story is actually a story that we heard off another girl, and although the actual story shouldn’t be funny, it really is because it’s so stupid. An American girl (clearly very stupid) went cycling on her own into the desert the other evening. As the sun was beginning to set, she left her bike and walked down some random streets to get a good photo of the sunset. Obviously once the sun set it went pitch black, what did she expect she’s in the desert! But she couldn’t find her way back to her bike or just back in general. She didn’t have that warm clothes on and she was stuck in the middle of the desert… So she started filming goodbye videos on her phone as she thought she wasn’t going to survive the night. The story is funny because she did and when the sun rose she found her way back, but seriously what an idiot! Who cycles into the desert alone at night, then leaves their bike and wanders off. The bike is still yet to be found…
Story number 3. Chile is actually a favourite to win the World Cup, yes guaranteed we are in chile so of course the Chileans are saying that, but that’s statistics are in their favour.
So no European team has ever won on South American soil because of the humidity and climate. That rules out a whole load of teams. No favourite has ever won a World Cup – that rules out Brazil. Leaving Argentina and Chile. Argentina currently don’t have a decent coach and it’s a known fact that Messi (their only good player) never plays well when it’s for his country – leaving Chile to win! So everyone get betting.

Finally our evening.
Tonight we went on a star gazing tour as the Atacama desert is the clearest place in the whole world to see stars. Although you can’t see England’s pride, the North Star, this is actually replaced by the southern cross – unbelievably clear and bright – which we can’t see in England. We drove into the desert and arrived at a fenced off area with two huge telescopes, one manual and one electronic. The electronic one was amazing, the man typed in what constellation he wanted to look at and it moved itself. We saw nebulas (remains of exploded stars left in the sky), triple star constellations that spin around themselves, the brightest star in the world after the sun and even.. Wait for it.. Mars and Saturn! Mars was glowing bright red when we looked at it through the telescope and basically looked like any other star without the telescope. However on zooming in you could see it was special, with it’s orange and red glowing tinge. Then there was Saturn, this was literally the most unreal thing I’ve ever seen. We were so close you could literally see it’s rings, so clearly, and individually, wrapping themselves around the planet. Then, on closer look you could also see it’s moons – Titun, it’s biggest was glowing bright above it, with the others close by (it actually has 49, we could see about 10).
The last event on our tour was having an extremely close up look at the moon. We were able to see it’s craters and the different shadows within it. We also got the opportunity to take photos of the moon through the telescope… You would not believe the images.









We finished off the amazing evening with a delicious meat platter to share, with steak, chicken, mushrooms, onions and millions of chips we are going to bed with full stomachs. I also enjoyed my first World Cup coke!


Up at 4am tomorrow for our next tour, so seeing as that’s in four hours, it’s definitely time to sleep now.

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