In the morning we all got on a bus to La Serena a costal resort in Northern Chile. When we arrived at our hostel it was very reminisent of my room on Dawlish Road! Fortunately I had no plans to spend too much time laying around in it. After a quick dinner we booked on a tour to one of the local observatories before having a brief wander around the town. La Serena like most Spanish colonial cities is based around a main square, it also had a nice promenade full of various shops.
Our tour to the observatory involved a long drive away from the town. Chile´s abundance of mountains makes it perfect for observatories! It is now host to the worlds largest and most important terestrial telescopes. This allows Chilian astronomers access to fantastic resources and creates a constant revenue stream form other countries who wish to invest in and utilise the equiptment.
The stars were beautiful, the reminded me of those you can see from the Kruger National Park in South Africa. At times the sky was also lit up be flurries of shooting stars. Fantastic! At the end of our tour of the observatory we were able to use one of their telescopes to take a picture of jupiter. Although this telescope was only small and for tourist, I still have a lumious picture of the planet complete with its rings and orbiting moon.
I didn´t actually get up to much. I went on a small exploration of the town before taking the 40 minute walk to join the others down at the beach. It was relaxing just to lay in the sand and paddle in the pacific.
On the way back the hostel I manage to get Chris and I fantastically lost, merely by overshooting a turning by one block. After an hour we found the town square when I recognised the start of the route we had taken to the observatory. Annoyingly we had passed the opposite end of our hostels street twice but neither of us had remebered its name.
That night we all ate at a fantastic fish restaurant that I had stumbled upon the night before. It was situated on a balcony overlooking the main square. The fish was fantastic and the owner even went to a local store to get me chillis when I ustilies my favourite Spanish phrase "puedes traeme algo salsa picante".
That evening we all hit a local bar near our hotel. We had a couple of drinks, anglisied the duke box and had a great laugh.
Bit of nothing day. We took a wander round the town for a final explore. Then we all bouth dinner for the night bus and headed off to San Pedro de Attaca. Chris did manage to have a slight altercation with and Irish/German girl who accused him of kicking her seat after she had crushed his legs with it!