Rally of the Incas 2016

November 13 - December 9, 2016


NOVEMBER 29, 2016

San Pedro de Atacama – Rest Day

Star Gazing

This tiny little desert town has dished up possibly the most chilled out day of the Rally so far. San Pedro de Atacama, in the Antofagasta Region of Chile sits at around 2,400 m. It's hot, dry and remote but like yesterday there’s plenty to see and do.

The rally is split over two ‘boutique hotels’, the Tierra Atacama and the Alto Atacama both of which offer a range of activities, sightseeing or otherwise. Possibilities included trips to hot springs, drives through the lunar landscapes or just lying back and enjoying a revitalising massage or ‘ritual’. The level of luxury is astonishing.

Today however we realised that we weren’t the only petrol heads in the vicinity. It transpired that there were other ‘car folk’ in and around the town and we hear that there was great excitement among the crew of a certain new Jeremy Clarkson - Amazon Prime motoring show this morning when they heard that the ERA were here.

A huge team was engaged in the filming, securing the location and prepping the cars and, one or two of us popped along to see them shooting some sort of low slung, orange sporty looking thing but as far as we know none of them dropped by to see us working on our exotic machinery. What a treat they missed.

The night sky here is also very dark, so some of us, including Dennis and Cathy Varni opted for the stargazing experience comprising both a lecture and a viewing session and we came away very much impressed.

The world's largest observatory and telescope is also close to the town, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) leads the world in gaining a better understanding of the universe.

Dinner tonight was a traditional barbecue under the stars in the ‘quincho’ and armed with our newly acquired knowledge we opined long into the night on all matters astronomical.

Thanks to Dirk de Groen for the spy cam’ photo.

Syd Stelvio



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