Through the Desert to the North

Trip Start Apr 27, 2009
Trip End Apr 27, 2010

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Flag of Chile  ,
Sunday, January 10, 2010

It needed one of the longer bus journeys I've been on to get up the the very north of Chile to Arica. The views on the 24 hour bus ride were generally very similar - desert, desert and more desert! The city itself is really nice, very much how you'd imagine a typical South American city: narrow streets, low rise buildings, a little shabby but full of character. It's also the driest city on Earth (or so I'm told) and gets only 0.03 inches of rain a year - that means it'd take a century to fill a cup of water with the rain! Actually it'd take much longer than that cos whatever rain fell would evaporate pretty quickly! It's not as hot a Mendoza though, generally a nice 25 degrees during the day and a bit cooler at night. Another bonus is the lack of mosquitos!!

The city itself isn't particularly big but it's always busy....well except Sunday when practically everything is shut! There's a hill just to the south (called the Morro) with an absolutely massive flag on top of it. It is a place where Chile won a battle over Peru in 1880 and has many reminders through the placement of cannons and flags and a museum filled with details about the war. There's also a large statue of Jesus signifying the peace that now exists. The view from the top of the hill is definitely worth the steep climb up. Tomorrow I'm heading off on a tour of the National Park Lauca and the Lluta Valley where there are Incan geoglyphs and a huge variety of protected wildlife. Fingers crossed that I don't suffer from altitude sickness cos I'm going from sea level up to 4,500m in one day!!
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Tony Clare on

Hi Emma, at last you have lost that peely wally look, nice to read of the great quest to become queen of the travel girls, keep on trecking girl read about you later.

calmyourjets on

That's what happens after 9 months of continual spring and summer... and not a British one either, a real summer with sunshine and everything!!
Turns out I can get a tan after all I just needed a longer holiday!

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