In my last day in Argentina, I embarked on one of the most scenic journeys a traveler can ever have in South America – the bus trip from Purmamarca to Atacama desert, in Chile.

This is not going to be another travel story. The 12 hours journey I had a few weeks ago while trippin’ to Chile, didn’t have anything spectacular to talk about.

But from my upper-deck seat of the trans-Andes bus, I watch and photographed the dramatic scenery of the crossing mountains. I passed vast salt lakes overseas by snow-capped peaks and arid plains where even vicuna, the wild llamas of the Andes, was no longer around. The high road went up to almost 5000 meters above sea level, where the outside temperature dropped bellow zero degrees. Part of the road got ice-covered, while the sky remained an imperturbable blue of a summer day.

I’m goin’ to leave these pictures here…

This is the place I was waiting in Purmamarca  for the bus ride at 9.30 AM. Gemini is a Chilean company that does the route Salta - San Pedro de Atacama several times per week.  Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
This is the place I was waiting in Purmamarca for the bus ride at 9.30 AM. Gemini is a Chilean company that does the route Salta - San Pedro de Atacama several times per week. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
This is the Hill of 7 Colors I was watching while waiting in front of the hotel I never knew its name, where the bus stops is located. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
This is the Hill of 7 Colors I was watching while waiting in front of the hotel I never knew its name, where the bus stops is located. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
Soon after leaving the village, the road starts going up on zig-zags. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
Soon after leaving the village, the road starts going up on zig-zags. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
And then going down. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
And then going down. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
The road to Chile goes directly through the spectacular salt plain of Salina Grandes. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
The road to Chile goes directly through the spectacular salt plain of Salina Grandes. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
This huge dried up lake  is a crust of salt up to half-a-meter thick.  Sometimes the contrast between bright blue sky and the cracked and crusty white salt is almost blinding. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
This huge dried up lake is a crust of salt up to half-a-meter thick. Sometimes the contrast between bright blue sky and the cracked and crusty white salt is almost blinding. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
Getting closer to Paso Jama, situated at 4.400 meters, which is the favored border crossing for trucks and international buses to Chile. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
Getting closer to Paso Jama, situated at 4.400 meters, which is the favored border crossing for trucks and international buses to Chile. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
After a half an hour at boarder pass, I got my passport stamp. I was welcomed to Chile with stunning mountains and amazingly blue lagoons. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
After a half an hour at boarder pass, I got my passport stamp. I was welcomed to Chile with stunning mountains and amazingly blue lagoons. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
They are fed by glacier melt and collect the runoff which becomes salty and home to the brine shrimp that attracts the flamingos. 
Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
They are fed by glacier melt and collect the runoff which becomes salty and home to the brine shrimp that attracts the flamingos. Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
Up there the air is thin, so if you decide to walk you need to do it slow and take deep breaths. The scenery can be overwhelming...Photo by Ovidiu Balaj
Up there the air is thin, so if you decide to walk you need to do it slow and take deep breaths. The scenery can be overwhelming...Photo by Ovidiu Balaj

Most of pictures were done by phone through the bus’s window; that’s why some of them don’t have a high quality. Sorry for that.

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