The following day we hired bicycles and cycled along the side of the beach to the next village to enjoy a seafood lunch and the fresh sea air.
We spent the whole day by the beech enjoying the view and cycling. it was a great day with a very relaxed pace and as it had been a long time since we'd been by the sea we enjoyed it very much. In the evening we caught another bus to Valparaiso, a port town further south in Chile.
We arrived in La Serena feeling a little fatigued after our 17 hour bus journey through the never changing Atacama desert. La Serena is a town on the coast of Chile and has 320 days of sunshine a year! La Serena is also renowned for its brilliant night skies and has three of the largest observatories in the world, but as we had had such an amazing night viewing the skies in San Pedro de Atacama we decided not to go again in such close proximity in order not to alter our memories of the night. Instead we spent the day walking through the Japanese garden and exploring the town. La Serena is a growing commercial city, with tree lined streets and old colonial buildings mixed with the modern complexes, including its giant mall with multiplex cinema, a far cry from Bolivia where we were a few days ago. In the evening we walked down to the beach to view the sunset and were surprised at how cold it could get when the sun was no longer shining but the sunset it self was amazing with such great colours over the see so we were glad we stuck it out.