Kirsty RTW '04/'05 travel blog

Overnight bus journeys supposed to mean sleep. This doesnt happen, when at the second stop of Calama, a big guy gets on, sits next to ya, and then proceeds to take up all available space in the 2 seats. My arm space, my leg space, no a happy girl, gave him a few sharp elbows in the middle of the night, kidding on I was sleeping.

Lights went on and it was still dark outside, I had a few minutes sleep(well at least that what it felt like), and we arrived in Arica, the furthest north city in Chile, jus a few kms from the Peruvian border.

Everywhere still shut 0715am, no lonely planet to guide me in the right direction, so I sat in the bus station, till there was a remote chance things might be open outside. Local shopping centre, looked promising, but no, still shut at 9am, apart from the driving schools, no use to me. After some local advice, jumped into a car(that i assumed was a micro- unlike the mad buses in Lima) that had a number 8 on it, and hoped for the best. Happy days, $300(a third the price of a taxi), I was in the centre of Arica, a lot nicer than it looked from the bus depot.

Andy youd love it, some of the cafes have a massive container of beer(a schop) that sits on your table and you pour it out yourself.

The army and the armada of chile are here, always protecting herself from the other rogue south american nations!

And then it was back to my other home country of PerĂº! Over the border on a colectivo where the guy rushed us thru all the customs on both sides and then dropped me direct at the airport.

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