Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
300Trip End Nov 04, 2008
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We have been travelling North from Santiago for a couple of days now. Initially West towards Valparaiso and Viņa del Mar and then upwards along the coast - the South Pacific that is. Our first stop was at a great camping in La Laguna, although we bumped into it by accident as signs are not a common practice in most tourist places (or at least visible ones)
Still great weather with a mix of clouds and hot sun.
The PanAmericana highway is excellent (with tolls) except it keeps going upwards and downards which is a bit of a struggle for our Chilean Torito camper van.
A great stop was yesterday at the Thermal Fountains of Socos which has a "luxury" hotel and a camping next to it. We obviously chose for the best - the camping, with thermal swimming pool, baths, jacuzzi and massage included. I opted for the massage option which believe you me has healed a good number of knotted muscles and made me aware of some others that were in pain... Veronika opted for the thermal bath at the hotel.
A happy moment in the desertic camping was to see 2 buses of young children having a BBQ and suddenly from behind a cactus (no joke) appeared "El Viejo Pascuero" (Father Xmas) even though it was over 30 degrees celsius. The all got presents except Veronika and myself who must have been bad kids in 2007 :-(
Today we passed Coquimbo (capital of the 4th Region) and a metal church constructed by Eiffel himself...and stangely looks exactly like the Eiffel tower but slightly smaller.
Now walking around La Serena doing our Xmas shopping for next Xmas dinner, as we aim to be at the Desert of Atacama where supermarkets are not very common. We will also have a taste of good old Chilean champagne (metode champagnoise) and some of the local red and white wines. I personally continue in my task of trying all the different local beers (Kunstmann and Cristal for the time being - not bad, though the German beer follows the Beer Pureness Law of Germany and is therefore an excellent brew...also managed to find all the usual lagers...Paulaner, Heineken, etc with no extra price).
Off we go into the desert road again.