Monthly Archives: April 2011

Chile from north to south

Alright like always i am heaps far behind, considering that i left south america on the 15th of feb and now it is the 2nd of April. Wops =P i have been on 2 different continents and met countless people in the time, had some good times had some bad times and lost a grandparent =(. But i was very blessed to have seen him before i left chile which brings me back to this post. Chile from north to south.

After leaving Peru on that bus that had WiFi anywhere that there was mobile signal, which means it pretty much lost WiFi by the time it left Lima we arrived at beautiful Tacna with hands deep in our pockets and constantly turning around to check our bags where still closed we went to find a Taxi that would take us to the border crossing with chile the stable country (the one with only 1 dictator).  We finally found a taxi jump in and ride without the mandatory seatbelts that all Australians enjoy and head out across the desert towards Chile. Home.  We got through the Peruvian side of the border without the slightest hitch it was almost too easy even for nick who was travelling as an Aussie.  Get back in the Taxi and got to the chilean side and there was a few hundred people but we didn’t think much of it.  Go to the desk give our papers and then we get told to go to the end of the line… where does that line even start??? about 80 meters away from the bag checkers. They are on strike about pay disputes and are only letting about 2 or 3 people go through every 30 min. Hmmmm this is going to be a VERY long day!  We arrived at around 11am and by around 3 or 4 suddenly after a bit of yelling and stuff everyone just got up, grabbed their bags and started to march across the border.  With the little group we had we hesitated a little and once it looked like people where going to make it we started to cross, got under the barrier and then suddenly the mass of people start running back to the border. From what we heard the police started to arrest people and/or send them back, we did make up a lot of distance in the line though =D  Now the ones on strike knew they didn’t have the power anymore and that it would end up in an all out riot if they didn’t start to do something. The line started to move a little quicker, and by 10:30 we finally got out of that horrible place!

Arica: It is a very interesting place, has really got ceviche, and some amazing views lots of roofs are broken on the houses but no one cares because it never rains.  Spent a few days there and had a good time,  never got to meet up with the uncle whose house we stayed at, but we did accidentally set off the panic alarm one day trying to turn off the fan =P

Iquique: This place is beautiful, you get the feeling this is the tourist city of the north of chile, it is all highrise apartments on the beach, nice boardwalk and lots of green grass. Which DOES NOT grow like that naturally!  Stayed one night in a hostel near the bus stop and then the next 2 nights with a friend of a friend that looked after us really well.  He showed us his Home theater setup which was his pride and joy and we watch pulp fiction and top gun on it, which was awesome! Just as a spoiler, It is actually a Royal Deluxe not a Royal with cheese, but yes it is because of the metric system =)

Antofagasta: Is this city which is not very pretty but it is very special for my family we stayed for 3 nights, including nicks 20th birthday which ended without anything getting done for it which was pretty bum for him =( We discovered the Zombi series “The Walking Dead” which is wicked! I stayed and met some cousins of mine and and Tio Willie who is an absolute champion and i wish i could have spent more time with him because he really is a great dude.  Went out to the centre and went to the University where Mum did PE teaching when she was a young lass.  Final conclusion of Anto is that it is clearly a mining and port city and that it is not very looked after. It is nice if you go around it, but the city itself is very plan without much happening.  And from there we got a VERY long bus ride to Santiago to spend Christmas with family.

Santiago: Santiago is an interesting place, you never feel like you are truly safe when you are in the CBD, or in some of the outskirts, or when your grandparents are convinced that if you go to the corner store on foot you will not make it home alive in a very safe part of the city.  Spent a few days there had Christmas which was not as massive as it used to be because of family politics and now that cousins have grown up they don’t all live in the same place.  But it was still about 15 or 20 people and we had a great time, laughed a lot and ate even more!  The next day we went to visit Tio Julio and got to see some more long-lost cousins i had not seen in over 10 years! and had an amazing time with them.  Played a bit of cricket and Marco polo and again ATE ALOT!!!  you will see that as a common theme in south america. Eating is pretty much all that you do.  The day after Julio’s we went to Meme’s and ate fresh rabbit that was killed earlier in the day before we arrived, and it was really nice! The day after we went to viña del mar and stayed with  Tio Sergio.

Viña and Valpo: If there is ever a city which gets over run with tourists it is Viña and the tourists are all from Argentina!  Went out with the cousins a little bit, one night we were going to go to a club had predrinks and when we got to the club they changed the free entry age from 18 to 21. so NONE of us could get in even though it was for a friend’s birthday. So we ended the night in a very australian way, at maccas eating. Again.  A few days later we got picked up from Sergio’s house and went to Jaime’s.  When we arrived he was preparing a BBQ for us and we had a great time talking and yeah an all round great night, a few days later we went on a bike ride for about 35km, and pretty much died! could no sit down for a few days because the bikeseat so was so hard! New Years was around here somewhere which we spent on a tugboat in the harbour of Valpo and saw some of the most amazing fireworks! Sydney is beautiful because of the location, but valpo is amazing because of the sheer size of the event. They set up about 10 or 15 spots along the coast and set them all off a the same time.  These fingers that are trying to be concise as i they have 2 months to write about cannot describe it!  After the boat we went to a part out on a property with my cousins and discovered that it is a very full on ritual to dance at a party, like you can’t dance alone, you can’t dance with a mate, you can’t just dance with a girl, you need to ask them if they would like to dance and then finally after all that you can dance!  But there was a little trick up our sleeves… we are from Australia! Did have a speak bad spanish which is pretty low, but all i wanted to do is just dance  like Lady Gaga. But the reasoning behind the bad spanish is that if I spoke to them in proper Spanish no one would dance because i sound chilean! (I have had people in Europe guess i was from chile) My cousins and their mates would take us and use us as Wingmen because all of the girls would accept the guys from Australia. Got home at 8:30 am not feeling the best and headed to bed.  And that was how I welcomed 2011 the year of major travel and left behind 2010 the year of taking the leap of faith into the bit wide world.

I will continue with this later, but 1500 words in one go is a lot and I need to have some dinner!

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