UFO land?

Posted: April 22, 2012 in Chile

While at Felipe’s beach house, we talked a lot about UFOs and such. He collects meteorites and he’s been a huge fan about Unidentified Objects since he saw one from up close in a scary situation a few years ago. The best part was that I was heading into interesting territory around that part of Chile which was supposed to be even more interesting than Area 51.

Heading inland, there was a lot more vegetation appearing in the valleys.

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A nice man made lake due to the construction of a dam.

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It looks like a kiwi, tastes similar to a kiwi but it grows on a cactus.

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Finally, I made it into the “UFO” sector around Vicuna, just a few km east of La Serena. It’s called the Elqui Valley. Nothing looked out of the ordinary. No one was wearing tinfoil hats, there were no souvenir shops selling alien dolls or anything at all you would see in touristic UFO places. It was a calm desert with a bit of green in between. What was a bit out of the ordinary was the number of observatories around. Supposedly there isn’t any rain there or clouds but the desert is hundreds of km in diameter there so why would the Russians, the Chinese, the Europeans and Nasa all have small observatories cramped in a little region? I’m not sure if it has to do with the sky or with the fact that this is also supposedly the most energetically charged place on earth. Close by, there’s supposed to be a mountain where around 3000m altitude, if you leave your car in park and get out of it, you can see it slowly move on it’s own. I didn’t quite make it to that point but many locals have confirmed it’s existence. I was somewhat hoping to see something unusual in the sky but all I saw was the sun during the day and an incredible array of stars at night. On the other hand, many locals have told me about a ball of light similar to the sun they have seen coming from afar, stoping and then flying away really fast. The sightings of the “flying sun” are not that common since the locals which have lived there all their life have only maybe seen it once or twice in their lifetime.

Some pictures of the mountains and valleys:

A waterfall in the desert

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The surrounding views

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The road

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Camping by a local man made lake. Nothing beats free camping with this kind of view! I also met a nice lady who had a house nearby and liked to go out fishing at night on the lake. She said that one night she also saw the “flying sun” a few years ago and it scared the hell out of her.

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A bridge from the old railroad.

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One of the 3 long tunnels created for the trains back in the day. You couldn’t really see the end of the tunnels and there was just enough room inside for 1 car. Before entering, I’d flash my high beam and sound the horn in the hopes that someone from the other side would hear as there wasn’t enough room for my bike and a car to go through. One of the tunnels was also curbed so there was no way at all to see if someone was coming.

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Back on the coast, I stopped for a bit to watch some 4X4 racing. These guys were racing through mud, sand dunes and small rivers.

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I think this last guy got me and the camera soaked. The automatic aperture on my camera stopped working afterwards and it took me a couple of hours to figure out that I could disable the automatic and set the camera on manual. For a little while, I thought the camera was done.

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A nice campground I found on a peninsula.

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A couple of days later, I went to meet Felipe again at his other house in the mountains not too far from Santiago in Quebrada Alvarado. Nick had come down with Felipe as well.

Here’s nick playing with lizards.

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And here’s Felipe, not too happy about finding out that his neighbor had installed an orange pole right in front of his window, destroying the amazing view he had from the living room window.

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Thanks again to Felipe’s great hospitality, I spent a few more days there and then I went up to Santiago. I just rode around the city for a couple of hours in the center and then got out of there, heading back to the coast.

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