The beach was fun until the fly bit my bum

Trip Start Feb 14, 2007
Trip End Jul 2007

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Flag of Chile  ,
Sunday, April 15, 2007

we are in arica for the day, chile's most northern city, so that early tomorrow morning we can cross the peruvian border. i am not entirely sure how this is done - so far my sources have informed me that you have to get a colectivo (which i think is a shared taxi) and you hand your passport to the driver (an idea i am not overly fond of) and then once the taxi is full you head to peru... our hostel owner, a friendly kiwi called ross, said that he may come with us to the bus station as there are a few 'tricks to getting a good co-lekteev-o' so that will be reassuring.

having spent almost an intire week in the atacama desert it is quite a relief to be by the sea where it isnt so dry, although i think i might be carrying half the desert around in my shoes still. our time in san pedro was very action packed - we went horse riding in the valle de la muerte (very different scenery to the ride we did in the south by the lakes and the horses where a little more frisky than those in the south). we went to the salt flat and saw some flamingos and to a salt lagoon where we could swim. the water there is about 30% salt and has the same effect as swimming, or floating rather, in the dead sea - it made me giggle because the water felt so bouncy, it was like trying to swim with floats around your arms and ankles (which i am sure most sane people have never tried but there are a few people at avins who will know what i mean). the guide told us, most informitatively, that the lagoon is 'sometimes blue or green and sometimes it is green or blue yeh'...?? when we got out of the water we were completely covered in salt- we only had to shake over our food in the evening and it was fine. we also heard the rocks creaking and cracking as they cooled in the evening and watched the sun set in valle de la luna. however, possibly one of my favourite things was when we went star gazing one evening. it was freezing cold out in the desert and typically we didnt have nearly enough layers on but the stars were amazing. Alan (who was french and wearing a skiing all in one suit) and alexandra (ali-handra) pointed out loads of constellations and you could see the milky way so clearly and we looked at saturn through a telescope and it was very strange, like looking at a postcard. the sky was beautiful and very impressive, its only annoying that all the constellations he showed us arent ones you can see from the northern hemisphere so i wont be able to pretend i am really knowledgeable.

today we decided to relax on the beach, which we did until it got a bit cloudy and then a massive evil horse fly bite me.
hopefully tomorrow we will make it to lima
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