Monday, October 8, 2012

San Pedro de Atacama to La Serena

¡Buenas tardes de La Serena! Since we last wrote, we have had a lot of fun! Wednesday afternoon we went sandboarding in San Pedro de Atacama. Sandboarding is a lot like snowboarding, except on sand. The board is the same, and the ski lift is human powered. After just a few runs, Sarah was already a pro.

I immediately brought back all my old snowboarding skills, haha.

Our sandboarding instructor, Pablo, is your typical San Pedro de Atacameño, even though he is from Valparaiso. He brought us some snacks and of course a Chilean beer to help us enjoy the sunset. We also managed to take this very safe-looking picture...

We ended up grabbing a drink with Pablo later that night, probably not the best mixed drink we have had on our journey. It was called a terremoto (earthquake) and was basically a combination of wine, ice cream, magic earthquake sauce, and chemicals. Not recommended, it´s called a terremoto because that´s what you feel when you get up to use the baño. However, should you find yourself in San Pedro, definitely take a trip sandboarding with Pablo.

Thursday we caught a bus to La Serena, leaving San Pedro at 2:21 PM, buses run on time here in Chile! We arrived in La Serena Friday morning and checked into our hostal. We did a quick walking tour of the city on Friday, noting that there was going to be some sort of festivities in the square that night. When we returned, it turned out that the festivities were something of a Korean music festival with a bunch of high schoolers dancing to what looked like a Korean Justin Bieber (maybe it was a girl, maybe it was a boy, these things are so difficult for me to discern). Anyway, we ate some empanadas and decided to call it a night.

Saturday morning, we had breakfast and then began our trip to PENGUIN ISLAND!!! After about two hours in a bus, we got on a boat to Isla Damas, an island in the Humboldt current, filled with penguins, cormorants, sea lions, and other animals.
Here is a local human.

Here we can see the penguins and cormorants forming an army in their preparation for world domination.

Here are some penguins just hanging out.

This guy just ate a fish.

The dolphins also tried to take over our very seaworthy vessel, but their attempts were all in vain.

Apparently Flipper and his family now live in the South Pacific. After taking the boat back to the mainland, we had a delicious lunch of fish and drove back to La Serena. Yesterday, we met up with some friends of Sarah´s family who live in the area. We got to meet their 2 year old son who is 2 year old proficient in English and Chilean Spanish (¿Que pasa perro?) and had a delicious home-cooked meal. Today we had originally planned on going to the Japanese garden and the archaeological musuem, however they are both closed on Monday, so we wrote a blog post instead. Hope all is well for those of you in America, I heard there was a debate between Bill O´reilly and Jon Stewart...

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