January 29th, 2008

Eighth report from Peru.

This is the first journal entry from Chile. we arrived in Arica earlier today from Tacna Peru. We checked out three hostels and eventually found one that we could stay in. We were sad to leave Arequipa because we had a terrific place to stay and we enjoyed the town. I spent one afternoon sketching a women selling her wares, knitting and embroidery. We did a bit more shopping and sent off a box of goodies home (so that I don´t have to lug that darn pot everywhere anymore) Unfortunately the shipping was over fifty dollars so we won´t be sending very many more boxes.

We took a bus through the desert yesterday and arrived in Tacna, after dark and tired and hungery. I find the bus rides really trying because they play loud movies and music videos in Spanish and there´s no escaping the noice. Today I managed to buy earplugs for the next bus ride.

Today we hired a car to get across the border. Actually the taxi man does all the work. He grabs onto you and in you get into his car and then you wait until the car is full and then off you go. The hostel in Arica Chile has the use of a kitchen and we went to the grocery store and I bought water, wine, beer, pop and milk (perhaps we are dehydrated?) as well as fruits and vegetables. I have been missing my fruits and vegetables. I washed everything in bottled water and had the best salad. I´m just hoping I don´t get sick. Then Jim settled in for a siesta and I set off walking. Eventually I got to the Pacific Ocean. What a treat after all those days of desert. The boats and wharfs are laden with Cormorants and lots of Pelicans did a fly by. Overhead there were three large black soaring birds- eagle or hawks of some kind.

We have at least tomorrow in Arica and perhaps we will stay longer. There are no "local people wearing wonderful outfits" here, everything is modern but there is the Pacific so perhaps tomorrow I´ll have my first dip in the Pacific. It´s too bad that we´re not staying close to the water as I find water so restful.beachinchile1