It was a very early start on Sunday morning, the alarm going off at 05.45 for a fifteen minute walk in the dark to the bus terminal to catch the bus back to San Pedro.After an uneventful journey, with quick and easy exit formalities at the Argentine border, we arrived on the outskirts of San Pedro where Chilean immigration and customs took place. After immigration we all had to heave our bags off the bus and queue up for customs who searched everybody's luggage for illegal goods.It took about two hours before we were back on the bus for the three minute journey to the bus terminal.
During the journey we'd got talking to Ainsley and Lucy from North Yorkshire who having given up work and sold their house, car etc, are on the first leg of a round the world journey (sounded so familiar to us).We all headed to Hostal Corvatsch and, after settling in and removing the grime of travel, had a couple of beers and a bite to eat in the Adobe Restaurant. It was interesting to hear their stories about their restlessness with work and their thoughts about their future. It also fair whetted our appetite to hear their tales and recommendations for Central America.
We had a relaxing day exploring bits of San Pedro we hadn't reached before and in the evening had an excellent meal at La Estaka. Accompanied by some local music we enthusiastically tucked into grilled salmon with fresh vegetables (we've had a veggie deficiency for the last few weeks) and a Thai style chicken served in a coconut shell - it was great to have a refreshing change of flavours. Earlier in the day there had been a very lengthy power cut - much longer than usual - followed by an internet blackout. We learned later that a bus had pulled down the power and telephone cables. Although power was restored in the early evening was still down 36 hours later and is due to be down for some days. Consequently Ainsley and Lucy were unable to book their bus to Arica although they are hoping to be on the same bus as us (in the end they weren't). It just goes to show how such an event can paralyse a community such as this. We however will be on the bus and provided it avoids all power cables we'll be in Arica the following morning.
We took the opportunity of free time wandering round town to do a bit of shopping. South America has so many interesting and colourful crafts that we couldn't resist buying something for the kids back home. That was the easiest part because we then spent two hours in the very helpful local post office getting them parcelled up, filling out the various forms and finding a working cash machine. Hopefully the parcel will arrive safely (our previous parcel of clothing we no longer needed caused a bit of a problem because customs wanted to charge us a massive sum for import duty!).
Lots of love
E & M xxx