So we're in New Zealand now. We celebrated our 5 year anniversary in Arequipa with Chris and Helen from the salt flats tour, and their friend Bob. We went to see Arequipa's local football team; Total Clean. The game was very entertaining, there was a fight, a couple of red cards and then a dog casually jogged across the pitch but they just carried on playing! That evening we had lots of pisco sours as it was our last night in Peru.
After that we headed down to Chile. We crossed the boarder in a big old ford, it was the best way of crossing a boarder so far! We got a bus straight to Iquique, a beach resort with pretty old buildings and a wooden side walk - it looked like a film set from Disneyland. It was a bit too cold for the beach but we walked along it anyway and took a look at the casino too. From there we flew down to Santiago.
The weather was rubbish in Santiago and it was the most expensive place so far but we stayed at Andes Hostel which was really nice and there was a good group of people staying there too. We had some good nights out with them, walked around the city, climbed cerro santa lucia, a little hill near the hostel with a nice view and then we flew over to NZ for the next part of our trip.
Alex came to meet us at the airport even though we arrived at 4am. She took us to our flat in Parnell (her friends were away and kindly let us use their flat) and she'd even bought us bacon and bread for a yummy breakfast (thanks Alex!).
We spent a week or so in Auckland catching up with Alex and her friends, and celebrating Sean's birthday with lots of cocktails, a nice meal and the rugby. After that Sean and I rented a big 1.8 litre Nissan Bluebird and hit the road!
We drove up to Paihia to see the Bay of Islands. We looked around the little town of Russell and took an amazing boat trip to see lots of dolphins (Sean spotted them first as we were the only people crazy enough to stay outside in the cold for the whole 3 hour trip!). After a couple of days we headed back to Auckland to pick up Alex and start our North Island road trip...
Love Vicky x