Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chi Chi Chi, Le Le Le

January 22, 2012

The second trip into Chile was amazing. I went from Arequipa to Tacna to meet with my customs guy. I had forgotten how unbelievable that ride down is. It is all desert, but the stark, desolate, lifeless beauty is incredible. And I don’t want to forget all the twistys as well. Seriously, someone needs to get down here on a bike and join up.

I learned I have to go back to Chile one more time. I can either store my bike in Customs ($300) for up to one year, ship it home, or nationalize it ($2000). If I nationalize it I can leave it here forever and eventually sell it. I have a few weeks to decide.

Sign people

Desert twistys

Love this valley

I like the layer of mountains way, way off

The border crossing was a piece of cake and I wanted to stay a night in Chile this time and check it out. I found a fun, party type backpackers hostel and pulled in. I immediately met a ton of really cool people. We all traded our travel stories for awhile, then the Finnish couple and I headed to the supermarket to get stuff to grill.

I fired up the grill, it had been since June. I loved it!!! An interesting Dutch kid was celebrating his 19th birthday that night so we decided to party it up. So it was me, the Finnish couple, 3 Japanese guys, two other Dutch girls, a French girl, an Australian guy, 2 British guys, and 3 Chileans sitting around having a few drinks and playing games. I ended up pulling out the guitar, and of course I sang “One Semester of Spanish Love Song” to one of the Chileans. It was a lot of fun.

It got me thinking about me skipping the ride home. I would have had a LOT of nights like that. There are just so many interesting people traveling, and they all have these cool stories about themselves and their adventures. But it is always just that one or two nights. I value relationships more and even though I had a great time, I am glad I have made much stronger connections in Ollanta.

A real supermarket!!!

Grilling steaks, zuchini, pineapple

The next day I checked out Arica. There was a random bike race there which reminded me of Burgos when Jeff and I were there. The plaza was amazing, way nicer than the ones in Peru. Then I drove up to the outlook for a view of the city and the ocean. Once again, I was so sad that I wasn’t able to share that moment with anyone. It was so beautiful. I did have a nice chat with a Chilean man, however. The bike is always a big hit.

The border went alright, and I decided to just go to Tacna to sleep. I was very tired and needed a little down time.

Look at this plaza

A view from above


Cool valley way off in the distance

1 comment:

Vero said...

I just read the success story on Grand Valley's page about you. I was immediately intrigued by the title due to the fact that I was born in Peru! I lived in Lima for 4 years and moved to Tacna and grew up there! I am so so so soooo happy that you are helping out these little girls with their education. This is so inspiring to me and I just wanted to take the time to thank you for the hard work and passion and dedication you have! This is pretty amazing!! I am currently a senior in Grand Valley and I hope to one day travel back to mi Peru lindo and help out the way you are. If you are ever back in Tacna I would check out la "Plaza de Armas" I lived not too far from there! I wish you the best of luck with this trip!

Veronica Z.