Good Choice

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July 7th 2009
Published: July 13th 2009
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In one of the abandoned houses.
After San Pedro de Atacama we decided to break our journey to La Paz with a stop in Iquique. Turns out to have been a good choice. It was nice to be back down at sea level and to be able to have some warmer weather. The beach at Iquique is really nice with huge waves rolling in from the Pacific, the weather was perfect and there was a good choice of cafes and restaurants, it was great to have some fish after all the chicken and meat we´ve been eating lately. The highlight though was about 45km out of town. In the 1930s and 1940s there was a nitrate - I think that´s what it was, boom in this area. A processing factory - Santa Laura, and town - Humberstone were built to meet the demand. After a synthetic substitute was invented demand disappeared and the factory and town were abandoned in 1960, they´ve been left untouched ever since. It´s amazing to spend a day wandering around and in the abandoned houses, factories, hotel, swimming pool, theatre, sports grounds etc. To get back to Iquique we had to take pot luck and stand next to the road and hope a
Fancy A Dip ?Fancy A Dip ?Fancy A Dip ?

Iron swimming pool made from a salvaged shipwreck.
bus would stop, fortunately one did after about 20 or 30 minutes.
Next it´s an overnight bus journey back into Bolivia and back up to altitude in La Paz.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Big Wheel Big Wheel
Big Wheel

Atsuko amongst some of the machinery.
The FactoryThe Factory
The Factory

The main building at Santa Laura.
Santa Laura SiteSanta Laura Site
Santa Laura Site

View from the main factory.
Off The RailsOff The Rails
Off The Rails

Old steam engine slowly rusting away.

View across the main square.

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