Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
289Trip End Sep 06, 2012
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Where I stayed
The hostel is great. It is someones home that they have turned into a hostel. I really do feel like I am at home here. The kitchen is the same size as mine, but the house has a few more bedrooms. Nice comfortable sofas in the living room with a flat screen tv. Nice place to chill for a couple of days.
I really didn't have anything planned today as I was unsure what there was to do in La Serena. There was a girl in my room, Fiona, from England that asked if I wanted to go on a bike ride with her today. We also invited the other guy in our room, Sergio from Quebec, Canada.
Fiona organised the hiring of the bikes (she can speak pretty good spanish) and we waited for them to be delivered!!
We headed off at about 1 pm after waiting for Sergio to sort himself out and the bikes to turn up. La Serena is a nice little seaside town 6 hours north of Santiago. We cycled down the main road towards the beach. I certainly had to try and get used to the bike as it has no brakes and no gears. The way to stop the bike is you have to pedal backwards. No helmet either so hopefully I won't fall off!
We stopped once we got to the beginning of the beach as there was a pretty lighthouse (or building) to take some photo's before heading off along the cycle path towards the next town of Coquimbo.
It took us about 1 hr to cycle to the other town and we stopped off in a cafe and had some food, before making the last bit of the journey to the end of the town as there was an old fort there which had greats views across the bay. There was also a very small island which was home to some huge seals. You could hear them from a mile off. They always sound as though they are belching!
It was a great day for a bike ride as the weather was really sunny, bu the temperature was cool, so you didn't get too hot
I think we left the fort at around 4.15 pm as we needed to head back before it got dark as we had no lights!!!
In total, we worked out that we cycled approx 20 miles. Wow, I was amazed. I think it helped as it was totally flat, apart from the little journey up to the fort. Great exercise for one day.
We got back to the lighthouse about an hour later and watched the sun set which was lovely. Just before we got back to the hostel, we stopped off at the local supermarket to get some food for dinner.
Chile isn't a very big country and does not have that many inhabitants. So why is it then they seem to have the biggest supermarket in the world here, in La Serena. The supermarket is called Lider and guess who it is owned by. Yes, you guessed it, Wallmart. It is bigger than any Asda I have ever seen. And the queues, wow. It felt like it was Christmas. Not a spare trolley or basket in sight. We were in the 15 items or less queue and it took us about 30 minutes before we got to the checkout. Wow!
Next door they also have a huge DIY store, a bit like B&Q. I felt like I was in Longwell Green!!!
Spent the rest of the evening catching up on my blogs again. Sorry for the bombardment of emails!!!
Tomorrow I have another huge bus journey ahead of me. 20 hours heading to San Pedro de Atacama, but it will be worth it!