On Exploring the Driest

Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance. (Will Durant, historian)

You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst. (William Langewiesche, author)

No doubt about it – deserts are dry. Because all deserts are not created equal, where is the driest desert on our planet?

Surely you didn’t guess the place in the image above, which is Death Valley in California. Besides, I’m confident the Atacama Desert quickly came to everyone’s mind.

Yes, the Atacama – a 600 mile (1,000 km) high plateau in Chile. The Atacama – sandwiched between the Andes Mountains to its east and the Pacific Ocean to its west. The Atacama – the land of stone, sand, and salt lakes. The Atacama – a land of unique flora and fauna that is sparsely populated by people.

Unlike previous posts in this series, today’s Explore provides two short looks at Atacama – an initial drive through the desert followed by the beauty of its night sky. Enjoy this journey to a land you may not have known until now.

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On Exploring a Desert

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. (Antoine de Saint-Exupery, novelist)

A desert is a place without expectation. (Nadine Gordimer, novelist)

Night comes to the desert all at once, as if someone turned off the light. (Joyce Carol Oates, novelist)

The desert is natural; when you are out there, you can get in tune with your environment, something you lose when you live in the city. (Robyn Davidson, writer)

This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words, and indeed in thought. (T. E. Lawrence, soldier)

The desert has its holiness of silence, the crowd its holiness of conversation. (Walter Elliot, politician)

The Namib, meaning vast place, is a coastal desert in southern Africa. It stretches for more than 1,200 miles (2,000 km) along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa. (paraphrased from Wikipedia). Enjoy this

Enjoy this beautiful journey to fitting music.

On Exploring Gobi

The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts. (C. S. Lewis)

My work is all about adventure and teamwork in some of the most inhospitable jungles, mountains and deserts on the planet. If you aren’t able to look after yourself and each other, then people die. (Bear Grylls)

True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing. (Baltasar Gracian)

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Saving the world via medical research or going off to Gobi Desert to dust off dinosaur eggs is what I thought I might be doing when I was a kid, and I’d love to bring those interests to a show like ‘E.R.’ or ‘The West Wing,’ or a movie like ‘Jurassic Park.’ (Morgan Fairchild)

For whatever reason, I enjoy geography. I’m sure geography during elementary school provided my first exposure to the Gobi Desert. Although this expansive, arid region found in two countries is fifth largest desert in the world, there’s something intriguing about this desert. It has sand, but it’s more rocky with mountains and steppes … yet it as grasslands for livestock. As the world’s northern-most desert, it has very hot summers, and brutally cold winter.

Enjoy this trip to the Gobi Desert, yet to me, the music sets the tone for this interesting area.