Published: January 20th 2012January 20th 2012
The photos I took of the various rocks are perhaps not so exciting so I´m going with a picture of the outside of the Museum...
Quemadura de sol. Sounds very exotic doesn´t it? What does it mean, you may ask. Sun burn my friends, sun burn. Let me tell you the truly tragic story of my plight at the hands of the sneaky sneaky sun...
So my last day in San Pedro was, as I had expected, fairly boring. Luckily there was a girl from Germany at the hostel who was getting the same bus to Copiapo so we spent most of the day lounging around in the hostel. I did go to the market but you will either by pleased or disappointed to hear that I refrained from purchasing any llama-related clothes although I did buy myself a llama keyring and a llama wall decoration which I fully intend to adorn the walls of my house with when I get home. The bus journey was likewise boring although the scenery driving through the desert at sunset was fantastic. Also, I had a little computer screen thingy in front of my seat which told me when the toilet on the bus was vacant or occupied so I got a running commentary of the toilet activities of my fellow passengers throughout the journey - just fabulous.
The first day in Copiapo was a lot of fun. Me and the girl I´d met in San Pedro went to the Museo Minerologico which was actually closed due to maintenance but the guy working there let us come in and look around for free. It turns out that rocks are pretty cool. Afterwards we got talking to the guy that worked there and one of his friends, the latter of whom then took us to a little vineyard where we bought some local wine (which tastes truly bizarre by the way, more like a liqueur than red wine). Then he showed us around some of the surrounding area so we could see all the mountains and the vineyards and we stopped and bought some of the grapes (which had only been picked half an hour earlier and were delish). Afterwards he took us to get some food at a little cafe he recommended. So this adventure has cemented in my mind the fact that, by and large, Chilean people are awesome. I think a lot of the people here like to talk to you about, and show you around, their country. The only issue was that he spoke
The rather colourful church in Caldera
I admit that, by this point, the clouds had gone...
no english so I had a LOT of trouble understanding everything he said but luckily my friend could translate some of it for me.
The next day my friend and I went to Bahia Inglesa which is a beautiful beach about an hour away from Copiapo. This is where the sunburn story begins. It was a cloudy day although it was still extremely warm. This was slightly disappointing as it was the first proper beach day I´ve had so far. So I may have been a little more relaxed about sun lotion than I would otherwise be... In my defence though, I did put some sun lotion on in the morning and I did re-apply it later on my face. Sadly this didn´t help. We spent a couple of hours walking around and then lying on the beach, and then went to Caldera, a little town on the coast which was really cute, and then headed back. We´d already bought our bus tickets but managed to get on the wrong bus. Luckily it was going the same way but it did mean paying for another bus ticket. Fail! Anyway, when we got back to Copiapo we went our seperate
Felix 2 Capsule
The capsule which they used to rescue the miners
ways as she was getting the overnight bus that evening. I headed to my hotel to ask about excursions to some places nearby which I wanted to visit (and which were, in fact, the reason I had chosen to come to Copiapo). After the receptionist phoned around several agencies it turned out that the cheapest trip (for one day) was over 200 pounds (no pound sign on this keyboard!) So I thought I´d go to my room and think about my options. Once I got to my room and saw the state of myself I decided there was not much to think about as going out in the sun was not much of an option!! I´ve managed to get bizarre patchy burns on my face, arms, legs, stomach, neck and chest. Awesome.
The next day I resigned myself to a day inside avoiding the sun (and people in general). There was a TV in my room so I soon found myself watching the Chilean Cheerleader Championships (I´m not kidding). One of the routines combined a song by Mamma Mia and a song by Lady Gaga. You can decide for yourself how you feel about this combo. I did venture
out of the hotel to go to the Museo Regional de Atacama which had a lot of information about the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped in Copiapo in 2010. They had the capsule which they rescued the miners with on display which was pretty cool! I also ventured outside in the evening and found myself in a crowd at the plaza watching a salsa band and a lot of people salsa dancing, despite my lobster face. Today I´ve got another wait until my overnight bus but there´s more dancing and music happening on the plaza so, armed with baby sun block, I will be spending most of the day there with my sunglasses amd a long sleeved cardigan trying to look inconspicuous...
My skin is looking a little less red today although the red and white combo does mean I look a bit like one of those whirly strawberry cream sweets. If you see no more photos of me this holiday you know why! Anyway, I think the sun burn may have also affected my sanity (or perhaps it was all the Chilean TV) so I shall depart now. Despite the sun burn I´ve had a good time
Another photo of Bahia Inglesa and the cloudy cloudy sky
here and have enjoyed a couple of days relaxing! I´m heading to Valparaiso on the bus tonight and should be arriving in the wee hours of the morning.
Speak to you soon!