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Chile - Atacama Region // Surfing To The Hand Of Fate

Killvan's Chile. A tale of a monolith in the path of wandering surfers, rising to greet them in the driest place on Earth, the Atacama Desert, Chile.


The Atacama Desert, no rain for as long as anyone can tell. A great fact to read in your local library, though a harsh reality to deal with on a surf adventure through South America. The day was beyond hot and incredible dusty, five maybe six tornado spirals of air crossed the highway sending shards of rocks and a blanket of dust into the van.

"We haven't seen a car in four hours, maybe more" Michael said as he navigated through the dust storms.
"True, maybe we have but we can't remember, all these fumes must be baking our brains" I replied.

The heat from the driest desert in the world mixed at high altitude with the fumes leaking into the vans cabin had us in a drug like haze. Thank God we'd run out of cocaine, we were high enough at this stage. With meagre water supplies and just enough fuel we charged forwards to Chanaral, not before being side tracked by a huge bizarre monolith protruding from the desert floor literally in the middle of nowhere.

"Would you look at that!" Michael said pulling than van over.
"It's the hand of doom. Every time we stop the van gets weird, keep the engine running" I said, impressed by the sight of this structure, yet nervous for our progress. We'd both become comfortably nervous if there is such a thing, the van we'd bought up in Lima was cursed but we had no choice to place a blind faith in it if we were to succeed on our journey. Reverting to such terminology as if it meant something signalled our demise.

BOOM! BANG! HISS! Smoke, oil, water and all kinds of combustibles exploded under the seat. Shocking hard the senses and spelling disaster. The vans engine had a critical failure, the sounds were frightening and as we both knew nothing about the mechanical bits, nor desert survival for that matter, blowing up in the desert was not something we wanted. Though destiny plays a part in everyones lives, and for us now it was happening this hell land of a desert.

"Wow, never seen her this hot eh?"
"Mate, we're fucked... proper fucked".
"It was because we stopped to look at that hand, The Hand Of Fate".

An unforgettable feeling of isolation and adrenaline, a helpless void we're we had no immediate solution. This breakdown was like standing at front gate with a rabid dog hankering to sink its infested teeth into our legs if we opened the gate. With the van steaming like a geyser, the gate seemed all but open.





Location: Norther Chile, Atacama Region.
Optimum: Autumn, March April May before Winter gets gnar gnar.
Weather: Here is the driest desert on Earth.
Surf Conditions: Rocky reef breaks and sand bottom point and beach breaks. Very very lonely for the most part.
Access: Fly into Santiago, and drive or bus from Santiago, but it's also gnar gnar. Coming down from Peru is not easy either.
Accomodation: Holiday Rentals, Hotels in the towns. Elsewhere is uninhabted desert where you'll be alone.
Live Free:  8/10.  This desert will help you find your soul, or destroy it.

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