Trip Start Oct 03, 2006
Trip End Oct 02, 2007

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Flag of Chile  ,
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It seems that I have been on a wild goose chase today. I have been trying to locate a collectivo (numero 3) a tip off the Lonely Planet gave, to get to the Ruinas de Huanchaca (an old silver mine). All the collectivos I have seen are 103, 110.... Not sure if setting out to find a number 3 is a joke. The locals donīt appear to know about it either! I have decided to give up the pursuit!

Antofagasta is a fairly large town situated on the coast. I enjoyed quite a pricey coke-a-cola (for Chilean prices anyway)100 pesos (1 squid), at a yacht club. The yacht club provided me with a nice view over the harbor and a chance to get out my guide book in peace and of course take a much needed visit to the bano!

Although I have had no joy in finding the collectivo I did find a smaller replica of Londons Big Ben in the plaza. It also chimes like a baby version of Ben. I didnīt stay too long in the plaza as I was an attraction to all the people in Antofagasta who wanted a bit of money - mine in particular. I stick out like the tourist with my shiny red nose and way above average Chilean height, I appear to attract attention where ever I go, the sly glances the blatant stares. I have also been welcomed to Chile with a smile and firm handshake for a gentleman whilst walking by the sea front.

I have located Antofagastaīs old railway station which houses an old English telephone box! To the east of the town their are houses situated on the hills not as picturesque or enchanting as Valparaiso but still they have sea views. In Antofagasta I have enjoyed walking along the seafront, watching the waves crash on the rocks. You get a glimpse of the power the ocean has. Along this walk I discovered a signpost pointing out the direction to run in should you find yourself being chased by a big wave, this I found amusing.

So far in Antofagsta I have not come across any other back packer, this has been quite nice I feel more submerged into the Chilean culture and way of life. I am unsure if the lack of other backpackers is due to being out of season, whether others travels bypass Antofagasta or simple for the fact that I have chosen to opt for the bare basic accommodation.

Sights I have seen today that you wouldnīt see back home:

A gentleman out walking his horse and Alpaca

A group of teenagers trying to earn some cash at the traffic lights, their party trick consisted of the three lads throwing a girl into the air who then summer saulted before being caught. This I think has potential to earn more money than washing windows!
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