La Serena and San Pedro

Published: February 28th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

After finally escaping the horrible vina del mar we got on an 8 hour bus to la Serena, a coastal town north of chile. As far as the town goes it wasn't the most exciting or the most beautiful but the beach definitely ticked all the right boxes. Quiet,golden sands and you could even go horse riding along the beach. We spent four days lying on the beach and eating, it was bliss, except for once again a really annoying hostel. The staff were rude, the bed slats moved around and they overbooked so we had a mattress in the middle of our room. The bathroom almost made me sick but it was still better than the last place. On the up side we bumped into a couple we met before in valparaiso. After our stay at the beach we got an 18 hour bus to San pedro de atacama, a town in the desert, north of Chile and by the Bolivian border.
San Pedro was awesome. It is the driest desert in the world and yet when we arrived they had just experienced their worst rain in 10 years. This time round the hostel was nice. We shared a room with an Italian man who used to work in a hotel we both walked past on a daily basis in London, in fact he left London the same time we did. The hostel was cute. All the buildings there are made of clay and the roofs look like straw, the room even smelt like mud. The bathrooms were outside but finally they were clean!!!
San Pedro itself is a small town lined up with tour agencies, shops,hostels and mini markets. It's a nice town, once again very different from anywhere we have been. On our first day we took a tour to what is called Valle de Luna, valley of the moon. Its in the middle of the desert and it's a rock formation surrounded by sand dunes, it looks like how you would imagine the surface of the moon to look. We visited various other valleys,all at an altitude of just over 2000m. It's difficult to describe but the views were really diverse and beautiful. I think only a photo can do it justice. It was a really good afternoon and the rain stayed away. Our next day was brilliant, we went sand boarding. Our instructor was a really cool guy who just so happened to be from the one town in chile we hated. We climbed up the sand dune and my god it was the hardest thing we have had to climb so far. Walking in sand is a nightmare and at altitude you feel like your lungs are going to explode. Hiral felt like she wanted to puke. Once we got to the top we waxed our boards and strapped our feet in. I was ok, I fell on my bum a few times but I sort of did it. Poor Hiral,I think she spent most of her time on her bum eating sand. Unfortunately the guy filmed it so we have it all on DVD!! Our last few days in the desert were less eventful. We tried to get used to the altitude and a lot of the tours were cancelled due to the rain so we just explored the town and prepared for our 3 day 4x4 jeep tour to Uyuni, Bolivia!
So it was goodbye Chile. The salsa,the pisco and the bad hair will be missed.


M and H x


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