Staying With a Local

Trip Start Sep 15, 2007
Trip End Dec 13, 2007

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Flag of Chile  ,
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October 1 - 3 Iquique, Chile.
Weather - quite fine.
The best thing about staying with a local, apart from the comfy homey surroundings and the nice bed you get to enjoy, you can take the money you saved on accomodation and blow it on food.  These three days have been spent eating, walking, eating, walking and eating.  Pedro has been a great host. As for the eating, my only stipulation was seafood.

On the first evening at around 9:00 (we were early) we went to a real hidden gem (I mean literally--no sign on the place--you have to know about it.) called Kiru.  The place has enlisted the services of a fine young peruvian chef who has come up with an amazing, exhaustive menu chock full of mouthwatering choices.  As indecisive as I tend to be, I let Pedro choose.  Wow.  Ceviche, like nobody's business.  A second course of quail eggs, sunny side up served on top of some kind of thinly sliced breaded meat and mixture of mashed beanlike substance.  YUM.  Main course for me was a concha (eel), lightly breaded.  We also enjoyed a piscola and a bottle of fine chilean wine.  Espressos for desert.  Seriously, one of the best meals I've ever had, and hey, I've been to Manhattan!   All that for two people, $60.   

Yesterday it was over to the Baracuda for raw hamburger.  Yeah you read it right.  'Tartar', prepared in much the same manner as ceviche.  Slap some on little white toasts and chow down.  This was accompanied by a couple of ice cold Arequipiña beers.  Later on, another amazing meal at some fish joint on the point which included more ceviche, this time little fillets soaking in a light salsa verde, served with bread and salsa and followed by a big plate with an assortment of breaded fried fish that three of us could not finish.  Of course a bottle of wine was included.  Again, the prices are stupid.  It gets even less expensive in Peru. 

Today it was down to the central mercado for a mid afternoon lunch.  Reine fish and my favourite, papas fritas.  Frickin' amazing again.  I won't need cena.  

Good thing I've been doing a lot of walking, thanks to the location of Pedro's apartment

Tuesday afternoon, Pedro had to attend to some business on site in Pica so took me along for the ride and dropped me off at the Humberstone ghost town, another UNESCO heritage site.  I've always liked ghost towns.  This one had it all, sitting out in the barren dessert.  Wind and creaking and banging doors.  I was one of about four people there at the time.  Pretty spooky. 

Tomorrow it's off to Peru.  The trip is sure to be eventful with an 11 a.m. bus to Arica.  Change over to a collectivo that will take me across to Peru and to a town called Tacna.  I should get there around 7:00.  Then I've gotta find accomadation for the night, get up and figure out how to get to Arequipa the next day.  Yikes.
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