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Boats, Buses and Breakdowns

CHILE | Saturday, 7 June 2008 | Views [551]

We’ve now made our way up the length of Chile and will be heading into Bolivia tomorrow so it seems apt to tell of  our misadventures….

Boats – well we along with about 30 gringos, a few Chileans and a lot of cows and horses took a slightly longer than planned journey on the Navimag ferry. We went to bed expecting to see fjords when we got up but instead we were still in Puerto Natales and weren’t going anywhere that day (cargo lift cable meant they couldn’t get our farmyard friends on board).  The next day we finally escaped the town (it had felt like we were stuck there with 2 extra days in this tiny place in the middle of nowhere). The ferry was good fun although very, very cold for the first couple of days; then the sun came out and all the passengers were on deck for the last day to see dolphins, seals, penguins and even a whale (we think the spout and tail count).

Buses – After being chucked off the boat at 8.15am, not great when you didn’t get to bed till 2am (at least we weren’t hung-over too), we had a day to kill in Puerto Montt till our night bus. Not a place I’d advice for your hols! The bus was gorgeously comfy and we really slept all the way to Santiago. (A nice city but pretty bland)

Our next big bus journey was to La Serena, we were cruising along quite nicely when the bus pulled over on the hard shoulder with nothing in view for miles. We ended up stood watching the bus drivers try and open the luggage compartment with a crow bar so we could be transferred to another to get to town (modern technology it wasn’t). So we arrived in La Serena on a Sunday evening with the only place to eat a Chinese – with the largest portions ever, but we were a little peckish by that time so we managed to eat about half! La Serena was our chance to go stargazing and we saw a whole load more stars than are visible from the UK, although our imaginations were a little stretched to see the patterns of the constallations!

Next bus was overnight to Antifagasta (just a stop to break the journey) then the next bus was on to San Pedrode Atacama. An adobe village on the edge of Chile with the most beautiful natural scenery – although if you get up at 4am to see the geysers then you’re going to need to make sure you enjoy them!

Sarah

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