Leaving the cold South of Chile we were heading for the metropolitan area of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, which are two cities that have almost merged over the years. Valparaiso is a city of students and artists, build on a lot of beautiful hills, whereas Vina del Mar is more a tourist centre, but still nice. Both have their charm, no doubts, but we soon remembered that neither of us is a big-city-person and so we left after two days (even one half of each of these two we spent outside the cities).The surrounding areas are a mixture of tourist towns, epic beaches and industry zones with big carbon power plants and oil refineries. Chile is definitely the most developed South American country; however in this area you can experience the downside on wealth fare on your own body! So happened at La Boca beach in ConCon, which happens to be a nice scenery with a decent beach break, unfortunately the water tastes so much like oil, you can even smell it, that we decided to surf there only once.
More north we stayed a couple of nights in Maitencillo. Entering the village our eyes got bigger and bigger,
since we thought that we have found again a small lovely place, with some waves, to spend a week or so! Bad luck that heaps of rich Chilenean people have thought the same thing about the place-it's really expensive! We found a place that was fucked up enough to be affordable and spent three nights there.
On the way to La Serena we stopped for one night in the Frey Jorge National Park, which is supposed to be a green Oasis in the desert. Since it was a pretty rainy winter the whole desert is kind of green and you couldn't really tell that there is difference.
Near La Serena there is Totoralillo, a small (maybe) human-made peninsula, looks really weird when you leave the highway and see it from above, a little bit like the palm island (Dubai) for poor people! Around the island there are three point-breaks and one beach break (that are types of waves) in walking distance, so we stayed (what surprise)! At days where there wasn't any surf we visited Pisco Elqui, which is a valley at the beginning of the Andes where we ended up at a real hippy camping site (called
Eco-camping), was kind of funny!
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