Monday, January 31, 2011

Part 2 of the Wallis Kid's Adventure

Cerro San Cristobal - Santiago


Top of Valpariso at poet Pablo Neruda's house

On Wednesday morning luckily we had no troubles with our bus or getting there. I think we really lucked out with my random choosing of seats because we were on the second level of our bus in the two front seats with a panoramic view in front of us... it was amazing! About 7 hours later we came to a stop by the beach, so we got off... then after walking around, being confused my the map not matching up, and besides the fact that the painted on street signs didn't have all the street names on them... I realized we had gotten off one stop earlier than needed, in Coquimbo! I don't think my brother was to impressed but I thought it was funny, and hey, we got to see another town right! Easily enough we got onto a micro only costing us $2 and then a 15 minute ride to La Serena. This time the map made sense and we were able to make it to our hostel. We were in another part of the hostel a street away from the main part so we went over at night to converse and meet people. Luckily there were 2 Swiss girls who could speak english with my brother along with an Argentinian and Chileans. We ended up going out to a disco for the night... got home around 5 am.

On our way to La Serena

After 2 hours of sleep Matt and I got up at 7 am for our tour to Isla Dama. We got to see penguins, dolphins, sea lions and beautiful aqua waters at the island. It surely felt like a long day and I was able to take a quick 2 hour nap before getting up again. This time when we went over to the main hostel the Swiss girls were gone and now there was a young couple from Sweden, again they spoke english. Again the group of us went out to a disco by the beach and danced until they closed at 4 am, then headed into the casino where I bumped into two exchange students!

Isla Dama

On Friday we finally had the opportunity to sleep which was nice. We went out to lunch with our group and finally ate some very fresh seafood! Unfortunately every day had been overcast so we never really made it onto the beach or in the water along with being busy the whole time. At night we went on an observatory tour and it was amazing - as soon as we got out of the van way up high in the mountains and looked-up, I think I went into shock, the sky was so clear and the stars we sooooo bright! It was a little disappointing that they didn't give us an english tour like we had asked but looking through the telescopes or just with your bare-eyes the stars were amazing! After the tour we decided to stay in for the night. We just talked until 4 am when we had to say goodbye to our friends that we had met in the hostel.

Saturday morning I roll over, look at my phone and it says 10:18 am... our bus back to Santiago leaves at 10:30 am!! Quickly out of bed and thankful we packed the night before we were out the door and running - I felt like I was in the amazing race! Got to the terminal just time time to find out our bus was late... 45 minutes later it finally arrived, what luck we've had with buses! The last day and a half was spent in Santiago, just hanging out, relaxing, and buying a few last minute things to send back home so my suitcases might be lighter when I get back!

It was great to have my brother come and visit, although I think it did more for him than for me which I'm really happy for! It felt so weird being with him because for him it was just a vacation and for me this is my life. One thing is for sure, I'm so excited to travel by myself now! I'm already starting to get ideas of where to go, and I love the idea of hostels and meeting great and interesting people, then making plans and just going! Also knowing that I can plan a trip all by myself, without parents, and in a foreign language, being able to make mistakes and fix them makes me feel so independent.

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