it actually took me 21 hours to get from lima to tacna, which is one hell of a long bus ride, but goddamn, the scenery was beautiful. i think i took like 100 pictures of the desert! such amazing contrasts, rice fields and grazing cattle amidst the aridity of the altiplano, and the beaches looked fantastic.
i was sitting next to a fisherman named segundo on the bus, who was such a sweetheart, he kept offering me food and stuff and i kept declining but he'd put it in my hands saying toma toma tienes que comer algo so in the end i accepted the chicharrones (some sort of grilled salted pork with grllled salted corn) and the dulces and the popsicles.
whenever the bus would stop somewhere hordes of people would come to the window saying what they had to sell and the passengers would throw money out the window for them in exchange for various foods, i actually think that's such a wicked idea, we should have that in canada.
now i know everyone says don't eat anything from street vendors but it's so fucking good and so cheap, and since when have i been one to follow the rules?
tacna was a nightmare, everyone telling me one thing and then another, like get your story straight i just spent 21 hours on a bus now get me to chile pronto! it ended up costing me about 3$ to get to arica and another 3$ to get into chile, i finally arrived in arica at 11 pm chilean time (+2h from lima time) and maria catalina, a peruvian housemaid who works here, helped me find a hostel around the bus terminal.
i decided i wasn't tired enough to sleep (the travelers at the hostel suggested i buy some diazepam for the long bus trips, one of those blue babies put me out for a good 15 hour) so i went out to the centre looking for a bar. first bar was some karaoke bar with a few old guys sitting around drinking pisco, so i bolted pretty fast. as i left the bar i noticed a sign saying SALIDA - ESCAPE. i had to chuckle at that.
then i heard the smiths coming out of a bar down the street so i went there and it's a good thing i did! marcelo the bartender actually GAVE me beer after beer and introduced me to his friends kike (a dj who likes acid tekno whaaaaaaaaaat!) and his girfriend kimi, jorge and ignacio.
they all seemed appalled that i paid 10$ for a night in a hostel and kimi suggested i come live with her because she lives alone while her mother works in iquique. i know most people would think it's a bad idea, but i spent 4 hours conversing with these people and sometimes you can just tell if someone has a good heart, and these guys definately have a beautiful energy to them so i accepted her offer and i'm really glad i did, because this is what it's about you know? meeting people and living like them, alongside them, instead of being scared of them. besides, what can a bunch of 19 ear old stoners possibly do to me, i wonder?
after we went to the beach and as usual i ran into the water fully clothed, i took a few pictures but you can tell i'm completely wasteland by that point.
i think i'm in love with this country and the chileans are so hospitable and amable it's incredible. not to mention drop dead gorgeous, such a refreshing change of scenery from the short stumpy hooked nose peruvians (no offense intended and i know this sounds superficial, but they are not a very attractive bunch) i was only going to stay a day in arica but i think i'll stay a bit longer, it's a beautiful little town and half of it was designed by eiffel, but anyway the vibe here is really nice. it's a 30 hour bus ride to Santiago or 35 to Mendoza so i think i'm going to skip santiago and go straight to argentina.
of course i change plans every day so who knows?
i'm off to sit my pasty white ass on the beach and eat some palta.