Atacama and Patagonia Photo Tour 2018 - Day 4
Day 4 -- Driving through the Andes to the Atacama Desert is not for the timid. First you must wind nearly 14,000 feet through switchbacks to Jama Pass. There you discover colorful figurines tucked in tiny rock shrines that will assist you on your journey. One is a gaucho that apparently was a bandit who mended his ways after death and now helps travelers making their way through the pass. The other is a mother and child—the mother died crossing the mountains, but when the baby survived, it was seen as a miracle.
Back to your journey…After you get to the pass, and receive the blessings of the gaucho and the mama, the altitude starts to get you. But now you need to haul your cameras and luggage through four lines at the Chilean border. Once you are through, just when you think it is time to descend, you realize your little bus needs to climb another 2,000 feet. After the described crossing, we are delighted to arrive in the Atacama and are rewarded with the majestic volcanic peaks of the Andes, dotted with grazing herds of Vicuna.
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