After one day in agony suffering from too much sun, I made a speedy recovery, and from an unlikely source. When remedies of cool showers and aloe vera failed to provide needed relief, I dug through Pete´s bag of tricks to find some aspirin. I popped two pills and went to bed - overnight I was miraculously healed of all pain! The next day, when Pete reached into his bag for some aspirin for his own burn, he discovered that I had NOT taken aspirin, but that I had instead ingested 8X the daily recommended dosage of altitude sickness pills! Not the healthiest thing I´ve ever done, to be sure, but I do believe I might write some medical journals with my amazing discovery. Interesting to note however are the crazy side effects - repeated tingling of fingers and toes, and a very long and intense muscle spasm in my right hand. Good times!
So it´s been back to the beach for the last couple of days, albeit under an umbrella in order to save me from further agony (and because I am now out of altitude sickness pills). The beaches were much fuller this weekend so it has been fun to just people watch, listen to the waves rolling in, and play several rounds of FMK with Ruth and Gill (thanks for the inspiration Alcam - the game has now gone international!!) Pete and I have taken a couple of breaks from the sun, sand and surf in order to take in a local museum dedicated to the War of the Pacific (in which Bolivia lost coast access) as well as to do a bit of shopping (my wardrobe of 5 shirts and 5 bottoms being quite inadequate for warmer climates).
Our favourite beach is in that little cove
Today we say goodbye to Ruth and Gill - Ruth going back to Sucre and we will be meeting up with Gill in Valparaiso tomorrow. Pete and I are going to enjoy one more museum (with super old mummies!) and one last warm beach day before our early flight tomorrow morning. From Santiago we are directly boarding a bus north 1 1/2 hours to Valparaiso which is supposed to be one of the nicest cities in all of Chile. After a few nights there, we will head to Santiago to spend the weekend with a displaced Canadian friend before we begin our journey south. We still have MUCH to plan for that next leg of the journey - many destinations being undecided as we complete a cost/benefit analysis for each (Pete is trying to keep up his CMA skills). Chile is so expensive!
Now that we have been in Chile for almost two weeks, we have been adjusting to the vast differences between Bolivia and Chile. Some are welcome and easy adjustments, others have been made more begrudgingly...
- It is SO nice to walk across the street here without worrying about getting killed. The first time we had a driver slow down and waves us across the street, we stepped out very tentatively, half expecting to driver to step on the gas pedal once he got us directly in his sights. In Bolivia, you take your life into your own hands when stepping out on the street.
- In comparing the cities of Sucre and Arica, we found the Aricans (sp?) to be much more friendly and helpful, to the point of having a vehicle stop on it´s route to warn Pete and I of going the wrong way to a popular tourist destination, saving us a very long walk!
- Seafood! (Well, that makes Pete happy anyways).
- Beaches! Obviously.
We miss you, Bolivia
- The sight of a McDonalds and Blockbuster, which may be appealing to some, was disheartening to us. Chile is a very modern country and in many ways Arica feels like a North American city. We were happy to leave such capitalist mecca´s behind us, and were not so anxious to see them again. (Of note, Mickey Dee´s was one time in Bolivia, but was later kicked out by the Bolivian government!)
- So much for our Spanish lessons. Chileans speak a very lazy Spanish, often leaving out the ¨s¨in any given word. Very hard to understand.
- It costs so much more to tour through here, at least double for accomodations and a good meal. Hence our debate over what to actually do while we are here...