Monday, March 19, 2012

San Pedro de Atacama

I flew up to San Pedro to give Daniel a hero's welcome after his race. San Pedro is a small town near the border of Bolivia. It lies 2400m above sea level, has 5000 inhabitants, and overlooks the vast Atacama Desert and Licancabur volcano.

Recent rainfall in the area resulted in the river bank washing away, leaving a gulf next to the road. The walls, which are usually just dusty, are now mud-streaked.

The town is well known for its markets with handcrafted products made by descendants of the first inhabitants of the town, the Atacameños.

We had a lovely weekend together again in the dusty desert town, appreciating the local food and crafts, and resting after a long week apart!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Daniel's Atacama Action

Tent #7: El Toro
Daniel and his tent mates at the end of Stage 2

Hitting a sandy road on Stage 3 

Strolling up a sand dune on Stage 3! 

Blazing through the desert in Stage 4 

Approaching a checkpoint in Stage 5 

Sprinting towards the finish line and Vanessa!

A short video of Daniel crossing the finish line - 4th in Stage 6, 9th overall, and 1st in the 20-29 age group. WELL DONE, DANIEL!

Atacama Crossing

Daniel recently completed his first 4Deserts race in the Atacama Desert in the north of Chile. He finished 9th overall and was the youngest finisher in the Top 10! He also won his age group, 20-29 years!

The race is a multi-stage race that takes place over 7 days and covers 250km. The competitors have to carry their own food and sleeping gear, but they are provided with tents and water. The Atacama is the driest desert in the world, and previously, it hadn't rained there for over 500 years. Two weeks before Daniel's race, however, there were storms and heavy rains and large parts of the desert were flooded!

The six stages of the race take place around the town of San Pedro de Atacama. The course went over salt flats, sand dunes, rocky plains, river crossings, lunar valleys, you name it! Below are some scenic pictures of the race.