Leaving Valparaiso and heading north proved to be more eventful than one would have imagined. In the 20 minute journey between Valpo and Vina del Mar our bus driver managed to plough into the side of another bus at a set of traffic lights. Being asleep at the time I'm not entirely sure of the events that preceded my waking up as the glass of the window 2 seats infront of me shattering from the impact... However nobody was hurt and we made it into Vina del Mar bus station without further incident. During the hours of waiting for a replacement bus to come and let us continue on our journey I got talking to a man who is essentially what I want to be like when I'm 67. An American guy from Philly, retired firefighter who has spent the last 7 years going to South America, South East Asia, most of Southern and Eastern Africa, the Middle East, India and all over Europe, making up for lost time he said! Anyway 12 hours after leaving Valpo I arrived in La Serena. Making it into the hostel just in time to see the re-run of the Rangers v Man Utd champions league game, none of us watching knew the score so we were uniformly delighted when Steven Naismith decided a kung-fu kick to the Man Utd players face in the penalty box was a good idea and by doing so made sure Scotland's Shame(sorry Rangers) lost with five minutes to go. At half time I also discovered that a couple from Leicstershire had been staying in B.A when I was there...and had been mugged at gunpoint in San Telmo! Passed the first night(and in fact the next 2 nights) on the roof terrace overlooking the city having a few cold beers and listening to the Stone Roses, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Ian Brown and, for some reason unknown to me, Elton John. After this the large group of English backpackers managed to hook a computer stream up to the TV so for the first time in my life I spent more than 2 minutes watching cricket, The Ashes. I have to admit I wasn't as bored as I thought I would be, especially when me and the South African guy took great delight in watching England's captain being bowled out on the 3rd ball...the 6 or 7 English people didn't seem to find this as hilarious as we did! The next day was spent wandering around La Serena which is a pleasant enough town with some cool markets and nice colonial buildings but with the main attraction, the beach, not really an option due to the weather(overcast and only low 20s...I'm sure those reading this in snowy and below freezing Edinburgh are filled with an overpowering wave of sympathy). After having a relaxing couple of days lounging around on the terrace reading some books, listening to music and generally chilling with other travellers I bought my bus ticket back to Vina del Mar and from there will hopefully be getting the overnight bus to Mendoza, arriving early on Sunday morning.