Shannon's curtain-centered blog will be tough to follow up, but I shall try my very best indeed.
Quick recap, mostly for our road-addled minds:
- Day 1: Santiago to La Serena
- Day 2: La Serena to Bahia Inglesa
- Day 3: Bahia Inglesa to Antofagasta
- Day 4: Antofagasta to Tamarugal National Park
- Day 5: National park to Arica
Hands up if you've ever done a 6-8 hours driving a day for five straight days. Cool, cool, I see a few hands out there...now keep them up. How about those that have done so in a foreign country? Few left...good on ya mates. Now, who has done so in an antique air-cooled beast traveling at max speed of 55mph? Yah, pretty much only person with enough self-loathing to do that is Gareth...and I've been with him most of the time when he's doing that.
Anywho, it was a friggin haul, to put it lightly. Earthquake covered in last post, but that set a pretty sweet tone for the rest of the trip. HIGHLIGHTS ONLY SPEED ROUND:
Bahia inglesa was a pretty cool tourist spot off the pan-american highway, not cheap, beach wasn't especially clean even for a tourist spot (broken glass everywhere) but mothaEFFIN Tom Jones will be playing there soon- we saw the flags advertising his sexiness' impending visit. We camped at a beachside place, no wifi, cold showers, and a gypsy neighbor who borrowed our pots but didn't clean them (bad form). Antofagasta was next up, and only meant as a fill station on our way out to the desert, since it's a mining town full of black lung, but apparently everything was closed and we decided to stay the night there to get supplies in the morning. Very cheap hotel that was playing Fast and Furious at maxxx volume in espanol, but we got to fill up water and eat frozen pizza, so not a total loss. If Antofagasta got off the bus, I'd be all like "Next!", and you should too and stuff. Next was Tamarugal National Park, or what we dubbed as either Poop Rock National Park, or Chilean National Trash Site #36, whichever pleases you. The parky part of the park remains to be seen since much of it was just miles and miles of ruddy desert with no demarcation aside from the occasional sewage pipeline or 'obligatory' customs control that we never stopped at because we're boss like that. We actually stayed in what-would-have-been a really nice site inside the park, it had all the trappings of a magical night: big ass tree to camp under in middle of desert, secluded glen for privacy, quiet, flat area to drive kombi onto, etc. All that, except the massive open holes people throw trash into, next to the place where the lazy litterers just leave trash, next to the literally STILL smoldering camp fire with small butane tanks still in them. Not cool dudes, not cool. Next was Arica, our first final destination, but not our last- just like those movies except less dead friends.