The immaculate Conception

Trip Start Jan 17, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Flag of Chile  ,
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We left our little peace of paradise in the countryside and headed to Concepion, which was a little colder than Talca, but as we are going south that is to be expected! It took a bit of walking around with our heavy rucksacks in the centre of town before we found a hostel to stay in, as the one in the lonely planet seems to have shut down some time ago. The place we found was a bit dump, but as it was right on the main street in the centre of the city, we decided to take it. As we were starving,we immediatly headed out to find something to eat, the market was not that great so we settled on a kebab shop, how random in the middle of Chile, well for Chile, it was not bad, but I don´t think it would past the test if was in London! As Chile were playing Argentina in World Cup Qualifiers tonight, we though we go to a local bar and watch it, it was a good atmosphere, the Chileans are obviously very passionate about football, it was a good game, but amazingly Chile beat Argentina 1 - 0 . It was the first time that they had ever beaten them in a competitve match, so understandbly the crowd went wild, people were honking there car horns as they drove around the streets outisde. Result for Chile against the Argentina, who have a team full of stars, such as Lionel Messi etc. We had some beers and a salad, and then we went to another pub, where we had a jug of Kunstmann beer, which is more of a dark ale, to be honest not really to our liking, anyway we may go to the brewery in Valdivia as they have some brands.

The next day we sore heads ( a little!) and it was a slow start that morning! First of all we headed to the university art house, where they had  amssive mural as a symbol of Mexican and Chilean friendship, then we went  out of Concepion and took the bus southwards to the coastal town of Lota. this town is famous for its coal mines, and they made a famous film about the mine here a few years ago. Now the mine is closed, but is opened for tourists to visit the mine, which extends about 3km out under the sea. The trip down the mine was really impressive, again the miner who was taking us could only speak Spanish, so it was good for improving our language skills, we headed down a lift for about 40metres, then we walked about for 1 hour under the ground. Mining must have been really hard work, particularly in the old days, when the shifts were long and conditions hard. The mine is called "El Chiflon del Diablo" ´which refers to the wind that ventilates the mine, in some places the temperatture is cold and other it is hot, dependng on whether there is wind or not! Now the mine has closed, unfortunately the town is quite poor due to high unemployment. The town itself is full of character though so it has good prospects for the future.
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