Tuesday, 26 February 2008
The Moon (Three)
Close to San Pedro de Atacama is a valley called la Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley). It is an utterly barren and dramatic formation of rocks and sand dunes, that glow red at sunset, against a backdrop of snow sprinkled volcanoes. It is spectacular, but was the least moonlike of all the places I visited in the desert. Everyone who goes to San Pedro visits the valley at sunset. The supposed moon is dotted with white minibuses and camera laden tourists from every corner of the world. You walk up the giant dune to the best look out point for the sunset, one of a great stream of others, and then jostle to find a ledge upon which to perch to watch the promised show, which you must then try to photograph as an empty desolate and dramatic scene, tiny you in a vast and alien landscape.