12 hours in Iquique, Chile (and some sea lions)…

Technically, we should be on a bus right now, heading down to San Pedro de Atacama  – the gateway to the driest desert on earth. There are parts of northern Chile that have never seen rain, ever.  It’s basically uninhabitable. I’ve never been, but I’m imagining it looks a bit like this:

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It rained on our parade today though. Having reached the bus terminal with a plan, it emerged that there were no buses heading south till 11.30pm. We found ourselves stuck here in Iquique for another 12 hours.  We ditched our bags with a lovely lady in a bus station (some might say unwise but we paid her and she smiled a lot so we trusted her) and headed off to explore this seaside town.

We made friends with these sea lions, who were brawling over scraps dropped on the rocks by the fisherman. They were barking like dogs at the pelicans threatening to take their food.

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We got pretty close… as far as we could get without having our toes mauled.

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Then Noah spent an hour like this, staring pensively out to sea at the boats in a very poetic fashion.

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He was dreaming of his past life as a humble sea captain who lived in a hut woven from strands of seaweed, held together with the rusting frames of shopping trolleys, before he fell in love with a rich girl from town who built him this house… IMG_4796

They were wonderful days. But they’re over now. So we went and tried on these alpaca hats, which were very warm and not entirely suitable for the desert. hats

And then we ate some ceviche and drank some wine and decided that sometimes, you get stuck for a reason. Only, we can’t remember what the reason is, because we’ve had too much wine.

Next stop: Atacama!