We have crossed the border between Bolivia and Chile and we are now in the small pueblo of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. The altitude is finally much lower as the temperatures higher.
The geologist in charge of the study of this place thought this was a kind of Moon landscape, and there comes the name.
These salt crystals experience every day a huge thermal shock and little cracks form when they get exposed to the direct light of the Sun. You can hear the sound of these cracks and it is very creepy, as someone has been buried alive behind those rocks.
The movements of the Earth crust and the wind have shaped this landscape formed of layers of clay, sand and salt.
This is also one of the driest places on the Earth, the climate and terrain conditions are the most ideal to test machine to be sent in foreign planets like the Moon and Mars.
Since the Desert of Atacama is the driest place in the word, the sky is the clearest as less water is mixed in the air perturbing the vision. Not by chance there the most important telescopes have been built.
Chilean nationalist are so proud of their coast that they do not want at all to give that little part back to Bolivia. It is a little bit funny because at the end the Chilean cost, after the free market, it has been totally sold to foreign fishing companies.
Chile is experiencing a great flux of migrants that are remodelling the culture and the identity of the country, the biggest group is from Peru.
With great attention I was hearing the modern history of Chile, the coup d'état and the effects still present today, not without noticing with commotion analogies with the history of my country, Italy.
Salvador Allende (1908–1973) was the first socialist leader elected democratically in Chile and in the world. In full Cold War he was not a welcome presence for the USA of Nixon. His government has been put in crisis by the Chilean right party, they created dissent in the population seeing their interests in danger. Unpredictably, the power did not pass to them but to the army leaded by Augusto Pinochet, during the coup d'état of the 1973 where Allende lost his life.
At the price of freedom a lot of problems were resolved; quality of life rocketed but not at all for everyone. Still nowadays, a lot of people consider Pinochet a hero despite his cruel politics, even young that cannot remember his days in charge. The others look at him as a murderer, in few words the society is polarized.
The Chilean society is politically divided as economically. The division between rich and poor is very tangible. Who knows how the things will change in the future, more and more the population is organising and a new way of be Chilean is rising.