Day 25 - Thr 26 Apr 07 - Arica, Chile
There was little sleep to be had on the bus, it was very hot - and I realise that I don't have the gene that allows me to sleep upright. Even though the seat did recline quite some way I just could not get comfortable. Unlike the bloke next to me, his bum hit the seat, his hand puts the recline lever and he's fast asleep.
The landscape has changed now, we're in a real desert now with sand dunes, but the road is running down a flat bottomed irrigated valley. Get into Arica spot on time, and decide to walk into the centre of town - it's only 1km. The weather here is very different, much warmer and overcast skies. I try a couple of hotels, but they are full. I start to get a bit worried, maybe there's some event happening and that's why all the rooms are taken.
Eventually I find a room, and the first thing I do is have a shower. I'm back out on the streets by 09:00, and I see the church that was build by Effiel, and the port building including a beautiful, if rather scary, spiral staircase. Next is the old train station which is no longer used. It's weird seeing the platforms being used for office space and a cafe!
Onwards to the real station to get my ticket to Peru for tomorrow. After a few translation issues I get my tickets, immigration papers, and a tip from the guy on where to sleep and eat! Meet up with a couple of other travellers from the UK how have been on the road for over a year. They sold their house, and have been moving around the globe since then. Spent some time swapping travellers tails before heading back to the hotel.
I then climb up El Morrow a huge hill over looking town. I get some great views of the town, the pacific, and the statue of Christ that is perched on the hill.
In the cool of the evening I head out and get a pizza, walked around the shopping district and changed some cash into Sol's ready for Peru tomorrow. The guy could have given me monopoly money at a crap rate for all I know! On the way back to the hotel I hike up the hill again to get some photos of the town at night. The hill is a steep climb.
Breakfast starts at 07:30 tomorrow and I have to be at the station by 08:00 for the train at 09:00, so I'm going to have to be packed and ready to go tonight.