Edit Blog Post
Published: December 28th 2015
We crossed the Bolivian boarder at the end our salt flat tour and kept the wheels in motion. We knew that after leaving Bolivia our pace was going to speed up a bit and we weren't wrong. We had our first taste of Chile when we arrived in San Pedro de Atacama, a small town within the driest desert in the world. Unfortunately we only spent one night in San Pedro but could've devoted much more time exploring the surrounding desert landscape. But anyone who knows Kristine well enough knows that she does not want to let a single minute pass without getting everything she can from it....not a bad quality but be prepared to have activities from morning to night! So with our one day in San Pedro before catching an overnight bus we rented bikes for a few hours and rode around the outskirts of town.
That was only to hold us over for the main event....sand boarding! Neither one of us have ever sandboarded but Kristine has snowboarded and I surf, so obviously we'd be professionals. Wrong. We quickly found out that the only way to be good at sandboarding is to sandboard. Standing on top of
the sand dune, dripping sweat and out of breath from the hike up and trying not to be blown off the other side from the prevailing wind, we were given a few instructions on how not to kill ourselves. After the instructions it was all down hill from there, literally. I must say Kristine had better runs than me only bc she fell once, on her last ride. I, on the other hand, fell every time EXCEPT for the last. After about 8 or 9 times we were exhausted and had more sand on us than a little kid at the beach for their first time. So we packed up the boards, grabbed our bags and headed to the bus station for another overnight ride southward to a town called Chañaral.
Our Chañaral experience could be described as making the best of a horrible situation. The town looked as if a bomb had been dropped on it. And we would later learn that it was one of the hardest hit towns from flooding only months before. We didn't have a place to stay when we arrived so our taxi driver took us to his friends hostel, which happened to be
one of the nicest Places in town. We had breakfast and then were picked up by the same taxi driver as earlier, who would shuttle us 30 km into the park and pick us back up at the end of the day about 10 hours later. We realized 15 minutes into our hike that we should've told him to pick us up much earlier. The park was massive and trails were separated by distances only accessible if you had a car. Our intended hike only took us 2 hours and now we had another 8 hours to kill. Lucky for us there was a small restaurant on the beach that sold empanadas and wine and we did what anyone would do in that situation...buy a bottle of wine a couple empanadas and play UNO until the wine was gone. Then we fell asleep on the beach until our taxi arrived. On the drive back we decided to get the hell out of there and take a bus to the next planned town a day or so earlier.Ahhhh, La Sereña! We finally made it to our first beach since Panama back in October. Although it was springtime and a bit cooler
out, the sun was still shining and we could dig our toes into the warm Chilean sand. Since we would be spending Thanksgiving in La Sereña we decided to book our first real hotel! No hostel, no weird Air BnB host, just simple hotel luxury. The clean towels, warm showers and continental breakfast had us feeling so good that we had to stay another night. That and my stomach issues were back, which made the decision to stay one more night that much easier. Our stay in La Sereña helped us recharge a little and get us ready for more time on the road...in a bus. 40 percent of Chile's population lives in Santiago and you would've thought they were all waiting at the bus station when we pulled in. We bobbed and weaved our way through the station with our backpacks on and scrambled around the city streets looking for the almighty wifi so we could find out how to get to the place we booked the night before. After 3 months we somehow still forget to take pictures of maps and addresses of the new places we are headed to. We did find our lodging and while walking
down the city street towards the address we realized that our Air bnb was in the middle of a street festival and at the end of the street where our place was located, was where they were having a Spanish version of RENT! Yay! If you can't beat em, join em. We went out and had a nice dinner and walked around to all the vendors to see what they were selling. Spanish RENT was interesting for 5 minutes and only blared on until 11 pm, early for Chilean standards. After a surprisingly restful night we headed out to explore Santiago by foot. We walked around some side streets and had lunch at a market place that tried hard to imitate Pikes Market in Seattle, complete with fish tossing and screaming fish mongers. One awful seafood lunch later we headed out for a walking tour of historic Santiago. Our guide was very informative and tried to help us understand the history and the future of Chile. All in all it was a great day in a beautiful city with perfect weather. If we didn't need to be in Pichilemu by the next day we certainly would've stayed a little while
longer, but knew we would be back. Pichilemu, here we come!
Tot: 0.666s; Tpl: 0.081s; cc: 13; qc: 58; dbt: 0.0317s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb