Day 363: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
One of the many tours offered by Tierra Atacama is a trip to a flamingo sanctuary at dusk. It involves no hiking and is really interesting as the flamingos are one of the oldest species of birds and the sanctuary is a massive parcel of land designated to protect them.
Flamingos are great but a tour lives and dies by its guide.
I met Cristobal in the lobby only to find out I was a group of one. I told him I was practicing Spanish so he slowed down and spoke clearly.
I talked to him about my recent discovery of the Canadian mining companies in the country and he shared his thoughts on the area’s efforts for tourism to preserve the land.
As we had a bit of time first he took me to a village and showed me his favourite place where you could see salt flats but were on desert sand next to a small lake surrounded by trees. The diversity of the land was incredible.
Cristobal’s attitude toward nature was infectious. He told me he could make much more money working in mining but he wanted to be part of the solution for the areas and help the environment. As touristy as San Pedro is, it does help protect the land from development.
And when a flock of flamings flew over us his reaction of awe and wonder was if he had seen it for the first time.
It was really inspiring to have a guide so passionate about his job.