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Published: August 29th 2006
Caldera and Copiapo are pretty sleepy towns but nice to visit if only for a couple of days each.
On our first day in in the seaside settlement of Caldera there were civil servants placing a Tsunami warning guide in the main plaza which is great so if there happened to be one while visiting we would be, in theory, able to get to high land.
Walked over to visit the Grotto that doesn't seem to actually be a grotto in the classical sense, it's more a church built on a mass of rock. Should you visit it the view of the city from the top of the stairs is pretty alright. Taking photos of the frightning murals inside we decided to walk over to the coastline for another perspective of the place.
Some youth were walking about to nowhere where in particular...like us. We reached the coast and saw this really old looking, huge metal thing that must have been used for loading or unloading from ships, not sure, but the mayor should have it removed as a hazard to the public.
From this vantage point we eyed people diving in the waters nearby. One smartly
in a wetsuit the other insane not. The water must be so cold...
Returning to town we stopped at the mineral museo which was really cool, lots o' rocks and downstairs historical memorabilia of the city. Returning to the center we saw a few skater kidz who looked respectively cool but didn't quite fit in with the sleepy town atmosphere of the place.
We stopped here to check it out as Sean like the sound of the place thinking the towns name is interesting maybe the city is too but it didn't quite meet expectation. So we decided to head out the next day to Copiapo which was my original choice of the two stops.
We arrived in pretty good time and around mid morning our first choice of places to stay was booked but that didn't stop the mass of a man behind the counter from neglecting to stay ´sorry we're full´until we'd struggled to lug our bags through the very narrow door only to turn around again! jerky
Any way lucky for us there were a few more options across the street the first one was booked but was nice enought to let
the grotto - caldera
with very scary paintings
us leave our bags while we checked the other two. Actually the second one next door looked really unappealing so I did't even stop while thankfully the third had a room avialable.
The woman who presumable owned the place was like twice as massive as the man in the original place and smoked like a chimney. Her assistant showed me the room which went down the most tacky decor I've ever seen - like tiger statues and stuffed animal crap - just gaudy over all. But beggars can't be choosers it met our needs and we'd only be there for a night anyway.
Once everything was handled, we searched for a place to eat and found the bavarian eatery on the square to be very nice. We must have either looked a bit gruby or just foriegn cuz our waiter was like we just do lunch if you'd like sandwiches the place next door does them. Lucky for him I didn't take offence, we said lunch would be great and had a really nice meal. Very poplular with the locals too the place was packed -mmm, mmm good.
After lunch we found our way to the bus
terminal to get our tickets to La Serena. Next we tried to find the movie house which was no longer actually there. Kind of a bummer but what do you expect when your guide book is about six years old. Overall its good but sometimes it bites.
No movies so the next best thing ofcourse is visiting the mineral museo! I really like minerals they are beautiful. Sean wasn't so impressed after the umpth time - a mineral is a mineral.
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