Feb 14, 2012
19S 379792, 7763395
I can hardly believe we've finally made it to Chile. Iquique is a great little city, except for the fact that it is about as expensive as the states, a huge blow after being in Peru. It is always sunny and warm with a breeze coming in from the ocean. It is in the middle of a desert, surrounded on three sides by sand dunes and the fourth side by huge waves. Apparently, every four years the fourth biggest waves in the world come here.
Jared's dad's friend, Guillermo, and his family have been extremely helpful and welcoming, inviting us to their apartment overlooking the beach for almuerzos and piscocolas. His son Sebastian took us for our first Chilean ice cream experience. It is the creamiest, most wonderful ice cream I've ever had (especially the Lucuma) and we've eaten it three times in two days. In return, I introduced him to peanut butter, which he had never tried, and he loved it. Sebastian's twin, Barbara, has invited us to a Valentine's Day party. She goes to school in Santiago and has offered to help me with my Spanish so I look forward to
hanging out with her.
It's going to take me a long time to adjust to the South American lifestyle, if I can at all. They sleep late, have huge late lunches, have a siesta, eat small late dinners, and stay up until 5am. Considering I usually like to go to bed around 11pm and get up around 7-8am, this is going to be hard for me. I just woke up from a siesta, however, so maybe I'll be able to stay up late tonight.
Feb 19, 2012
Punto de Choros, Chile
19S 379799, 7763408
Right now we are camping at Punto de Choros, our final destination before Santiago. We just got back from a tour of the islands where we saw hoards of Humboldt penguins and sea lions bathing on the poop-stained white rocks. On our ride back a slew of dolphins was swimming so close to our boat that I could have reached out and touched them. It was a good last stop, indeed.
Feb 20, 2012
Las Serenas, Chile
This is the fourth time in a little less than four months that I've been sick. Maybe my body isn't cut out
for this kind of craziness. First, a sore throat/head cold, then bronchitis, followed by altitude sickness, and finally this, whatever this is. Jared thinks sun poisoning but whether that's right or not I'm miserable. Now that we've made it to Las Serenas from our camping spot in Punto de Choros we have four hours of waiting followed by six hours of bus followed by probably about another four hours of waiting until its a decent enough time in the morning to call Jared's relatives, and maybe then, if we're lucky, I might be able to be sick in a bed. Being sick at home is lovely. You have a nice comfy bed to lie in, you can watch movies, you can make soup or whatever you feel like, and there is a free bathroom to use at your leisure.
But wait! I was too quick to complain because Jared has just finished putting up the hammock for me outside of the bus station.
Feb 22, 2012
Chileans are definitely a very friendly and welcoming people. We got into Santiago at 6am and Jared's cousin Claudia and her son Felipe immediately came to pick
us up. By lunchtime, she had collected pretty much the entire family to come meet us for lunch at La Pipa, the family restaurant. They're huge on 'saluds' here too, or toasting. There must have been about 10 toasts made at lunch.
We're staying with Claudia and her kids. It's like having the little brothers and sisters I never had, five of them. There's Felipe (age 18), Benjamin (16), Isadora (15), Vicente (11), and Oscar (9).
Here are a couple lists I have started:
Things I will be grateful for upon my return to the U.S.:
1. Hot showers
2. Clean bath towels
3. Clean clothes
4. A refrigerator with food
5. Drinking water always available
6. A selection of clothes
7. Free public bathrooms that have TP and soap
8. Not having to carry all of my possessions on my back at all times
9. Clean fingernails
11. A place to sleep
12. Soft mattress/pillow
13. Lack of mosquitoes/malaria
14. Time with family and friends
15. Running water/electricity
16. My piano
18. Running shoes
20. My guns
23. My own apt/space
24. Variety of foods
25. Craft beers
Things I will miss upon my return to the U.S.:
1. Cheap street food/casados
2. Great weather
3. Cops with shotguns and AK-47s
7. Beautiful beaches with few people
8. Pura vida
9. Free coconuts and bananas from trees
10. Lots of time to read
11. No schedule/no rush
12. Drinking beer on the street
13. Huge bugs
14. Birds, wildlife, plants
16. Time with Jared
17. Delicious fresh fruit
18. Meeting people from all over the world
19. Lucuma ice cream in chile
20. Aji peppers
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