Iquique and paragliding over the Sand Dunes

Trip Start Jan 20, 2010
Trip End Jun 16, 2010

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Flag of Chile  ,
Saturday, April 10, 2010

The hostel in Iquique wouldn't let us check in until midday but we slept across the foyer until then, getting plenty of looks from people who thought we were on our way in from a mad night out!

We ignored our backpacking culture for an evening at the cinema and the following day went to a huge duty-free shopping centre called El Zofri, where I hoped to get my camera fixed. I was sent somewhere else but had the camera back the next day fixed for 32000 Chilean Pesos (roughly 48) so chuffed with that outcome as I didn’t have to buy a new one!

The main attraction of Iquique was the perfect paragliding location and climate, so one morning we were driven up to the high point of the city and from there took it in turns to do a tandem paraglide over the sand dunes, the city and landing on the beach. It was an incredible half hour and although I felt a bit motion sick as we spiralled in upward pockets of heat to gain height, I loved it and the views over Iquique were amazing. I’m really glad I did it and will probably never have the opportunity to do it again in such a perfect location!

We spent hours on the beach reading and playing football and even longer in the sea, which hosts some of the best waves for surfing in the whole of Chile. Me and Clark spent an entire afternoon in the sea, messing about in the 10foot waves. We were again sad to leave but are now aware that we have a tight schedule to keep to if we are to make our flights home in June!

We take an evening bus overnight into Bolivia. Chile has been fantastic and although there were plenty of places we haven’t had time to visit, we feel we have successfully seen the best parts of the country and are ready for country number 5 (I include my brief spells in Brazil and Uruguay)!
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