Time for another update!
We´ve moved around quite a lot since the last one so this may be quite long and we may have forgotten details already...
So the last blog ended with us saying about visiting the Virgin Mary in Santiago (pictured). We went up a FUNicular to the Virgin Mary statue overlooking Santiago. There was a lot of smog surrounding the city so you could only see the outline of the Andes. Really amazing view though of the rich and poor areas of Sanitago.We attempted a panoramic photo getting us both in which took a good while but looks quite cool! We then tried to follow the route on a map round the hills which didn´t work out quite to plan and we ended up following a windy road in the midday sun. After this we went to Plaza de Armes and saw our very first semi-detached cathedral, complete with graffitti! We also went up San Lucia Hill and were shouted at by a Brazillian man from our hostel who spoke no English but acted everything out, and gave us a Quaker bar :)
The next day we moved hostel to one down the road called Chilli Hostel. It was a really nice hostel and much better than the first one. We met two English girls called Anna and Louie, and a guy called Tim and basically hung out with them for the next few days. Went to an art museum the next day which was a bit odd. Then that evening we had a BBQ at the hostel made by the owner, Fernando, and had 2 hours of unlimited beer. We played drinking games with some danish people as well, and headed to a club which was awesome.
Next we headed to Valparasio (where no tsunami had hit like had been predicted!). Valparasio is an ecletic town, it has no street plan at all, the houses are all different and coloured, and seem to wear graffitti like a badge of honour. Hostel was cool here and that night a group of about 20 of us hit a karaoke bar (obviously sung journey - don´t stop believing) and then a huge 4 floored club, where we all attempted to learn Tango (i think), danced crazily (sarah you´d be proud), and danced on the rooftop dancefloor under the stars until 5am ish.
We did an overpriced "walking" tour of Valaparsio and Vina del Mar, in which we sat in a bus the whole day. The advantage of this was that we did see a lot of the important places here which we probably wouldn´t have seen otherwise, but it was a shame we didn´t get to explore on foot. Vina del Mar is more orderly but still not a lot going on. bit of a posh Benidorm.
THEN Ralph and I headed off to La Serena. Bit of a nightmare journey with our first bus leaving without us (despite me running down the street after it) but thankfully a lovely lady stuck us on another one to connect back to our original bus. Long bleak drive which Ralph enjoyed as he felt like he was in a Western film and I slept through. We arrived in La Serena with no hostel and no plan, but thankfully thanks to Lonely Planets map, we found a street of hostels and the first one we tried had rooms! With a TV!! Watched Terminal last night and had our first early night of the trip which was AMAZING.
So today we explored La Serena. Really beautiful place - quaint buildings, laid back feel and massive beach. We got stalked by a dog we named George, who fell asleep next to us, then followed us the whole way down the beach, bounding through the water chasing birds. We eventually lost her by hiding in an ice cream shop whilst her and her male friend went and attacked a man´s trousers.
Tomorrow we´re off to explore the Damas Islands to explore the beaches, nature reserves and ocean wildlife. Hopefully we´ll see some good stuff! Then on Thursday we´re off to San Pedro de Atacama to explore the desert and stars.
Both really enjoying travelling so far, its cool meeting lots of new people all the time and moving around lots. We´ve also successfully completed our first loads of washing! Success.