Published: November 25th 2009November 8th 2009
Nov 5, 2009
Today was Kyleigh’s (Justin’s niece’s) first birthday! Uncle Justin was sad not being able to be there for Kyleigh’s special day but hoped her day was fun!
We arrived super early in Arica an decided to wait in the bus terminal until it was a reasonable time to go to a hostel to check-in. Hearing that it only rained twice a year in Arica, we were optimistic of having a clear, sunny beach day. But looking at the sky at 7:00AM, it didn’t look very promising. The sky was dark with heavy clouds and actually made Arica look pretty gloomy. Justin and I joked that we brought bad weather to every place we went to. Looking back, it rained on tropical Easter Island, it rained hard when we were at Iguazu Falls, and we couldn’t see Christ the Redeemer due to cloud even when we were right beside it. How ironic would it have been if we were there on one of the two days that it rained in Arica per year?
In the bus terminal, we made the decision to go back to Bolivia. After all of the chaos that had happened to us,
we must’ve been crazy to go back but we found a direct bus that would take us to La Paz, Bolivia from Arica. We booked our bus tickets for early, the next day and ventured into Arica.
We walked to the hostel that we looked up on the internet to find that no one was home. Since our bus to La Paz was early next morning, we thought it was best to stay at a hostel close to the bus terminal. By close, we meant literally across the street. How convenient!
We found a cute little place but it was our first stay that didn’t include breakfast or wifi! We didn’t mind though because we were in Arica for the beach! We were absolutely exhausted from our bus ride that we napped for 5 hours!
The weather outside was much better than it was in the morning. Our stomachs started to growl so we took off in search of food (and the beach!) We found a little plaza that served some chicken and fast food. We were so hungry that we let our tummies order our food and went for the papa burgers. I didn’t think much
of it since it was only $ 0.50 more for the papa burgers as opposed to a regular burger. We also ordered a 2 litre bottle of peach juice for lunch! To our surprise the papa burgers were HUGE. So big, it was the size of my hand spread out! Also, the Chileans absolutely love their mayo and there was definitely way too much mayo into for my liking. Justin thought it was delicious and ate the whole thing. I think I got through half of it.
Feeling a little more energized, we headed toward the beach. It was strange to see desert and dry mountains surrounding the beach. It was so nice to walk on sand with my bare feet except this was no ordinary sand. It looked like there was micah mixed in with it and felt a little oily.
There were lots of people at the beach. It was interesting to see tons of people playing soccer. If we were in the States or Canada, we’d see people play football or Frisbee. In South America, most people played soccer with their bare feet. Even the dogs joined in to play. Where we sat, we saw
a cute baby pup on the beach, protected by its owners. I managed to get a pic but I felt like a creeper.
There were two big dogs in particular and at first we thought it was cute how they played soccer and ran around. Then we caught them doing the unthinkable. They both went towards a couple who were lying down on the beach. Their bags were on the side and one of the dogs decided that he wanted to mark his property and peed on the bag! The couple was still unaware that there was a ton of urine on their bag until the second dog decided it wanted to mark its property and peed on the same spot! This time, the couple noticed and shooed the dogs away but who knew how long it’d take to get that smell out of their bag!
Another popular thing to do on the beach was kite surfing. We were watching one kite surfer in particular and he was being dragged across and even got lifted out of the water. He would get a good run on the water, then get out, walk on the beach (with the kite
still intact) against the wind, get in the water, and repeat. It looked like a lot of fun and Justin was really curious to see how hard it was.
We eventually napped (again!) on the beach and I woke up to being a little sunburned. Overall, it was so relaxing and such a nice break from being cramped in a land cruiser and overnight buses that we were enjoying our lazy day.
Eventually, we went back to the plaza for dinner. We went to a fast food chicken restaurant and ate a lot of food for very cheap. Nearby, there were some internet cafes. We really wanted to call Justin’s brother to wish Kyleigh happy birthday but none of the places we went to offered skype. Instead, we sent an email. Eventually, we got kicked out of the internet café because they were closing for the night.
We went back to our hostel and wondered about what was in store for us back in Bolivia.
There are more photos below