The driest city ever ... and not much else (Andy)
Trip Start Oct 04, 2009
70Trip End Nov 20, 2010
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Actually, July is some of the best surf in Arica. Its just so violent and chilly that no one other than the professionals or lunatics do it very often.
Luckily, I had with me someone who has a somewhat insane obsession with all animals, including sea lions. After a week and a half apart, Lindsey and I reunited in Arica to continue our travels south to Buenos Aires. I figured since we hadn't seen each other for a while I would get a bit more attention than Arica's main seaport stars the sea lions ... I was wrong. In the two full days we were in Arica we made six different visits to the sea lions. SIX! These weren't magic sea lions that did tricks, they mostly just sat there. But Lindsey was AMAZED by them.
One of those six times happened to be during feeding time.
In between our sea lion time we were able to see the famous mummy museum just outside of Arica where some of the oldest mummies in the world are kept. The Chinchorro culture existed from 5,000 to 3,000 BC and mummified the remains of their dead thousands of years before the Egyptians. They remained in Arica well intact due to the favorable weather conditions; namely no rain. They were spooky to see as there was no discrimination in mummifying.
Other than that, Arica was a bit of a wash. We spent a fair amount of time in the McDonalds soft serve line (i dont care what anyone says about McDonalds, i'd like to see you make me a soft serve ice cream that tastes half as good for double the price ... impossible) other than that, not much. The town seems to come and go with the weather so visiting it during the coldest part of the year was a bit of a mistake. After that we are on to San Pedro de Atacama en route to Argentina!