Friday, November 6, 2009

Lazy days in Arica

We arrived in Arica early Tuesday morning (6am) after a 9 1/2 hour bus ride from San Pedro de Atacama. I was not particularly thrilled at the prospect of a long overnight bus ride as the idea conjured up memories of my University days and the frequent trips via Greyhound from Calgary to Peace River! Howeever, we were told by several people that traveling by bus in Chile is luxurious in comparison - and boy, were they right!

Our bus was ¨semi-cama¨ which meant seats that reclined almost entirely horizontal (¨cama¨means ¨bed¨in English, and there are buses available where the seats stretch out to full beds). There was even a co-pilot who took over for the driver halfway, and also worked to provide us pillows and blankets when he wasn´t driving - service plus! I wish this all meant that I slept well, but I didn´t, being too distracted by all the snoring around me.

We went straight to our hostal on arrival, expecting to just crash on lobby couches until later when we could check into our room. Luckily, the gracious hostal manager had our room ready early and we were able to go straight to bed! Thus Tuesday was a lazy one, in between naps we did amble around the town center a bit, but stuck pretty close to the hostal for the most part.

We were excited for the next day as it meant: a) BEACH! and b) two of our friends from Sucre would arrive to join us for the week. Ruth and Gill arrived late teh night before after an excrutiating long trip from Bolivia, and as they had both been here before, led us to our first taste of beach and ocean!

There are many beaches in Arica, which is why we chose to relax a week in this city before moving south where the water gets significantly colder.

After two days of sun and sand, Arica has not disappointed! The water is clear and the beaches are beauitiful. We´ve enjoyed it so much, in fact, that we both got a little too much sun yesterday. I burned in the most inconvenient of places (the top back of both my legs...makes it super hard to sit! Also my back, and my face, despite using sunscreen) So while Pete took to the beach with Ruth and Gill today (for once, I burned more than Pete, first time that has EVER happened), I am sticking close to the cool of the hostal, likely not venturing out into the sun until hopefully feeling better tomorrow.

Four more sleeps in Arica and we are on the move again. The plan is to fly to Santiago on Tuesday where our first order of business will be to get our laptop to an Apple repair center! We have much yet to plan for the next phase of our trip, which I´ll be doing today in some sort of creative, comfortable position that I have yet to find...

(unfortunately, pictures of Arica will have to wait as the computer here isn´t working properly...)

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