Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Santiago de Chile - 15 nov 2005

35 hours of bus, thats what they call travelling and thats what I did. Monday at 06.00 I took a
bus in La Paz to Arica in Chile, a 8 hours busride. We started at El Alto at 4000 meter in a thick
fog. After 2 hours the sun came through. After 4 hours I could see 3 snowcapped volcanoes which marked the entry of Lauca National Park in Chile and the border as well. The border passing went smooth and I had even time to visit a small lake nearby at 4300 meter high where
red flaminco,s where resting on 1 leg. The road went all the way through the NP and then went
down to sea level. At around 14.30 we reached Arica on the Pacific Coast. Since there is not so
much to see there, besides the beach, I decided to hop on another bus straight to Santiago de
Chile, another 30 hours. The busses in Chile are very good and I even had 2 seats for my own
so I managed to sleep at night. The landscape was boring, 1200 km desert, the Atacama desert
included. It was only about 200 km before Santiago where the hills started to become green and
I saw the first famous wineyards. As from here I also saw the high Andes range again with
a lot of snowcapped peaks. At 20.00 hr today we arrived in Santiago. There is a shortage of
rooms here and they are on the expensive side so today I need to sleep in a 4 bed dormitory,
the first time on my trip, besided the jungle experience in Bolivia....and its evem more expensive
than my private rooms I had in Peru and Bolivia. I just use Chile as a hub to Argentina, cause
on the panamericano you can really travel fast and easy. Tomorow 16th I will visit Santiago
and at 20.30 I have another bus for 14 hours to Osorno, 900 km more south in the lake district, from where I want to cross into Argentina, more precize Bariloche. But more about that in my next report ok. I need some real sleep now after about 40 hours without bed.