We set off yesterday from Antofagasta with a quick stop at the Tropic of Capricorn for a few photos then headed inland (East) towards San Pedro De Atacama, after Calama Fiona could see lightning in the mountains, it got blacker and blacker and we could see the storm heading for the same place as we were going. Into the town and a stop at the first cafe we saw where we met one of the guys we had met in Santiago at a bike shop!! We got to the campsite as the thunder grew louder and the wind intesified, the mud pit that was a campsite was not a place I'd want to be in a storm so we found a hostal across the road and the rain started almost immediately. Within half an hour the streets were muddy rivers (not much need for drainage in the driest desert in the world, the electric went out on the whole town and our roof started leaking, some bed moving and plastic bags to avoid the worst. After a couple of hours it stopped but the damage was done, the town was wiped out, everywhere flooded and closed, luckily we had some rice and an Onion for emergency rations and the only shop not flooded was one selling whisky!
We joked before we got to the atacama that no doubt it would rain when we got here, my god, it certainly did. The area has been declared a red Zone and is headlines on the news, the main road to Calama is washed away so tomorrow we can hopefully get a diversion through the Valle de la Luna back onto the main road. We have met Eduardo here, a Chilean guy and he joined us for a ride out to the Salar de Atacama today to see Flamingos, also we met Christian who we last saw in Ushuaia so hopefully later if tonights storm passes we can meet up for a beer. No photos as the Electricity is an unknown item but will add some when we get back to a less "interesting" place