Gazing out the dirty bus window, my eyes blink rhythmically as the arid Atacama Desert rolls by. Northern Chile’s landscape seems a bleak and desolate area with little to offer. Bland colours in differing shades spread out endlessly.
As I step outside, a soft, clear wind swiftly impacts my senses. The immediate rush of the air and smell of the earth makes me look around in wonder. The sun is falling and the surroundings are swiftly changing. Only now do I begin to appreciate these desert lands.
While crossing a sand dune in the Valle de la Luna, I marvel at the multitude of red hues spread out before me. Walking this crimson kaleidoscope is made even more dreamlike as the sun sets and everything transforms to softer shades of pink.
After the sun disappears and the temperature drops drastically, I descend from the dune. Although a path is carved for a careful and slow descent, my brother and I cannot resist the childlike temptation to create our own respective paths. With no balance or control, we sprint down the dune until we collapse at the bottom in a fit of giggles. With no hint or warning, my perception of a bleak and dreary landscape has suddenly transformed into my very own gigantic sandbox.