We are in Chilie and I immediately feel 80% more sassy. I did the tango through the boarder crossing and haven't stopped since. Our first stop was San Pedro- a little dusty town in te desert. All the streets where covered in desert sand, the air was amazingly dry heat and cacti where sprouting up in every garden. Thank goodness I'm a tanned goddess otherwise I would have burnt to s***. After being dumped by the bus and traipsing round in the boiling sun with big ruck sacks on and Woolley jumpers we finally found our hostel. We checked in at our hostel looking like sweaty dirty explorers but the hostel (AJI Verde) was amazing- the beds looked like they where from the flint stone set and they had chicken which you could watch from the hammocks- bliss.
We went on a wander on search for wine as we had heard the wine was really good and cheep- they told us no lie!! A litre and half of delish Chilean red wine for £3.50! Not only that but for dinner I had a HUGE and amazing steak for just £9- I am already in love with Chillie.
The next day we decided to rent bikes to bumble about on and to go on a bike ride exploration of the local sights (desert rocks). Sounded like a great idea and for the first 10 mins it was glorious, wind whistling through my now golden (only slightly ginger now) locks, the sun on my back and feeling like I was in some old western film (minus the horse) and then A MASSIVE HILL. I powered on up until I reached the top and literally/ basically died. I saw stars, nearly fainted, was nearly sick, dying on the floor with Louise and Becks looking over me with just pink faces, regular breathing and probably thinking "holy Christ your a fat b****"- another classic unfit Dyke Down moment. Soo we headed back to town after the 10 minute bike ride- luckily all down hill- to find me some sugar and food to refuel.
After food I felt like a new women but sore legs and thinking of my bike as a daemon from the depths of the desert out to kill me. But I was a trooper and hopped back on the the hostel (FML I HATE BIKES). At the hostel luckily we had more wine to numb my pain and sooth my tight chest and cough as a result of the bike ordeal. After lots of wine Lou, some French guy and I went on search of an illegal party as everywhere shuts at 1 there and it's illegal to make noise after that. But classic we arrived as the PoPo turned up to shut it down.
NNEEXXXTTTT we went on an over night bus to La Serena in search of sunshine, beach and most importantly STAR GAZING TOURS. Chillie has the beat star gazing spots in the world and after our experience of them in the desert we where fascinated to learn more about the night sky. We arrived at around 12 into a cloudy, cold town- great. But atlleast we booked a star gazing tour with an optimistic attitude that the clouds would part for us. LUCKILY when we arrived at the observatory on top of a mountain there was not a cloud in the sky and as we stepped our the us we where greeted by another spectacular blanket of the most beautiful star so have ever seen. Once again the Milky Way was crystal clear and left us all speechless for a while. We had a proper tour with an astronomer who pointed out many constellations including Orian Belt and Orian the Hunter, Taurus, Scorpio and many more mini galaxies and we gazed through a telescope at them all in awe and wonder. We also saw some shooting starts and of corse made some wishes- however the tour man explained how shooting stars are actually just bits of dust from space or Comet tails which enter our atmosphere and burn out. That is how meteor showers are predicted as Comets orbit plants on a reliable pattern an when the Comet passes close I the earths atmosphere on the predicted days, the tail of it which is full of space dust and gases touches on the atmosphere so the debris of the Comet created load of Shooting Stars. Which kind of took the magic out of them but was interesting to know. He also explained how all stars, including our sun, have to die and when they do they explode. The old starts which re close to dying are an orange colour, such as one in Orians Belt, and the newest stars are bluey as this is when that are at their hottest and therefore newest stage. This explosion causes lots of gases which are also in our atmosphere, such as Oxygen and Nitrogen, therefore helping to explain how the Earth was a creation of a Big Bang and explosion of many stars and therefore us humans are all really just specks of star dust.
We had 24 hours in La Serena and we are now on the road again in the search of some actual sun, heat and beach. With plenty more red wine and hopefully sea food! Valparaiso we are on our way, get ready to welcome us and please for goodness sake be SUNNY!!!!