I entered the Atacama desert looking through a bus window with a golden curtain, feeling like I was in the first scene of Paris, Texas. The driest non-polar place on Earth, an extension of more than 100.000 km, containing areas where rain has never been recorded. It emerges like an endless extension of stillness and beauty, so overwhelming that it feels surreal —like being the first human on Earth. The desert makes you feel so insignificant, it's almost like experiencing your own non-existence.
A local driver tells me that twenty years ago, the area was isolated, with only a weekly bus that connected it with the exterior. Now el Valle de la Luna, los Geysers del Tatio and las Lagunas Altiplánicas are crowded with travellers from every corner of the world, who engulf the village of San Pedro de Atacama throughout the year. But in contrast, the presence of indigenous communities and traditions still prevail, showing that wiser and more respectful ways of life are still alive. In Atacama, nature still reigns.