Flat Stanley Lost in the Desert

10/2/13. We’ve been in San Pedro for a few days! We’re stranded!! It’s a small town with everything built of mud and straw bricks, some buildings are painted white and its very dusty!

San Pedro is not meant for rain!

We were going to go and see some geysers high up in the mountains near the Bolivia border, float and swim in hot pools and salty lagoons, then take a bus into northern Argentina but then, on the first afternoon, it started to rain. There was lightening and the loudest thunder we ever heard! We were in our apartment at the hostel and water started to pour under the door!

After 20 minutes we were wading in muddy water up past our ankles!

In 20 minutes our apartment was under water

In 20 minutes our apartment was under water

The whole town was flooded, the electricity went off and we have been stranded ever since! There were no trips and no buses out of San Pedro because the roads were either broken or blocked by snow!

Imagine being in the desert where it almost never rains and getting flooded!

This building in town was white yesterday now they are mending the roof like nearly every place in town! They told us it will rain again even harder today!

This building in town was white yesterday now they are mending the roof like nearly every place in town! They told us it will rain again even harder today!

It’s hot and sunny in the mornings and almost everything dries out then the clouds roll in and the rain comes down and floods everything again! We help scoop and sweep to try to keep the rooms dry and we’re sleeping in a drier room.

Helping out is hard work as we are scooping for hours but actually quite alot of fun with the other people staying at the hostel

Helping out is hard work as we are scooping for hours but actually quite alot of fun with the other people staying at the hostel

On the second night, we gathered around the big table in Sandra’s kitchen and shared her daughter’s birthday treats, as a thank you for our efforts and made friends with Toni and Jay who taught us new card games and arm wrestled with us!

Jay and me arm wrestling

Jay and me arm wrestling

Cosy in our new room, although it has quite a few leaks of its own and we hope the roof won't fall in on us when the rain comes again!

Cosy in our new room, although it has quite a few leaks of its own and we hope the roof won’t fall in on us when the rain comes again!

Yesterday, we decided to take Flat Stanley out to buy him a hat like mine – we’ve been looking for one for a while. We should’ve got one in Peru or Bolivia when we saw loads! You can get great woolly hats to keep you warm on cold nights in the mountains! Anyway, we couldn’t find one, but then today, when Stanley was home, we found the perfect hat and got it for him as a surprise!

A hat for Flat!

When we got back we quickly looked for Stanley to try it on – but where was he?

He was missing!

Did he get lost on our shopping trip yesterday or was he lost in the rain, under the bed, hidden in a book?

Enjoying an ice cream before we realised Stanley was lost!

Enjoying an ice cream before we realised Stanley was lost!

Disaster! Flat Stanley lost in the desert and we were so worried about him!

And not sure how to break the news to his parents, Mr and Mrs Lambchop back in England!

We searched high and low. My Mum cycled around San Pedro on a rickety old bike that the hostel lent her and looked for him everywhere but he seemed to be gone!

Perhaps he’d got himself mailed home or would show up somewhere in our luggage rolled up or tucked in a book?!!

Then this morning we were packing when Oma spotted him trapped under the table. He was very quiet but awfully pleased when I gave him his new hat!

Flat Stanley and the Desert in his new woolley hat

Flat Stanley and the Desert in his new woolly hat

We’ve found a bus to go back to Calama and then we will have to do another long bus trip overnight to La Serena, a town by the sea further south. And Flat Stanley is safely on the bus with me now!

Stanley safely back with me !

Stanley safely back with me !

Flat Stanley belted up for a safe trip back to Calama!!

Flat Stanley safely belted up for the trip back to Calama!!

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. freespirit41
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 13:53:37

    Great account of our unexpected adventure in San Pedro, Zoe. I was so pleased for you when I found Flat Stanley, I still wonder how he managed to hide there.
    Keep writing, Love Oma xx

    Reply

  2. Sandra
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 14:52:00

    Hi Zoe. Thank you for your blog post! Getting flooded in the Atacama desert is really weird! Sounds like this must have been the first rain for centuries.

    Reply

  3. Mark White
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 15:16:53

    Hi Martin – I remember we got stuck in the sand outside San Pedro and all that fun with the police in the village next door. Sounds like you’re all having fun.

    Reply

  4. Val
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 15:25:27

    Hi Zoe
    Thanks for this blog – I will share it with all the children next week – they love hearing about your adventures! The assembly will have to wait though because tomorrow I am off on an adventure of my own! I am taking Y5 on their school journey to an adventure centre and we will be abseiling, canoeing, raft building as well as lots of other things. I hope the sun shines! Sophie is in Y5 and is coming too. I hear that she has been in touch with you?
    Keep the blogs coming – we really love them!
    x

    Reply

  5. christophlaipie
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 15:35:00

    Keep them coming Zoe. Great post!!!
    Chris

    Reply

  6. Julia
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 12:36:12

    What fun Zoe! I am so pleased it was a rented house that was flooded and not yours xx p.s. I think Stanley’s hat is dreadful…for a boy! LOL xx

    Reply

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