We went to a town about 50kms outside of Iquique that was abandoned in 1960 by all of its inhabitants. It was a mining town and quite big with a theatre, hotel, swimming pool, hospital, all the things you usually find in a small town. It is now a tourist attraction although not a very popular one and we probably saw 20 other people around the town whilst we were there. This obviously added to the creepy nature of the place, you are able to walk around all of the building and all the houses from the people who lived there. It was like something out of a horror film and one I might have a crack at writing in the future once I don’t have to write these blogs anymore! When talking to people in the area they have said that some films have used the town as a set but I don’t think any have made Hollywood yet. To get back to Iquique from Humberstone you just have to flag down a random bus and hope for the best. We managed to speak to a couple of people who were with a group of school kids with a private coach. We managed to hitch a ride back in style on a huge coach and one of the students even poured us a glass of coca cola from their fridge as we made our way back to Iquique.
On our main shopping trip we went for a bit of a walk around the town which has a definite western style feel about it. We managed to do a big loop and ended up at one of the mall’s where the local army corp. were putting on a demonstration. We both were able to adorn a genuine Heckler and Koch machine gun, and then when another guy dressed me up in a bullet proof vest and night vision helmet the original guy wanted his machine gun in the photo, and he gave me that too. Crazy place…whilst shopping for groceries you can get fully kitted up in military gear….gun and all!!!
The beef is amazing in Chile and we went down the supermarket and bought 1200g for under £8 and had a huge steak on the BBQ at the hostel along with some of the other guys staying here
. I even picked up a few tips from the ‘BBQ king Raul’ which I will be putting to good use in Australia. It was a great night along with a few beers and the surfing the next day definitely got rid of the hangover. Myself and Erin went out with one of the girls from the hostel in some pretty cloudy and choppy conditions. On the whole we were all pretty terrible and when the instructor was showing me how to paddle through waves he told me to place my ear on the surf board. As the wave approached I did as he said and right at the end slightly lifted my head. Once the wave had passed the impatient git swam over and pushed my ear to the board, which was at this point under a good 4 inches of water, and held me there until I started to choke. Hes a really nice bloke until you get him into the sea and ask him to teach you how to surf, he seemed to spend a lot more time teaching the girls…I wonder why??
Our bus is locked in for 23.30 so we are spending our last night chilling out with yet another BBQ with ’BBQ king Raul’…..Thoughts go out to you all after the Germany game, we had to watch it on a crap internet connection that froze every couple of minutes painful, painful, painful!! We are now supporting Argentina so the whole place is ’LOCO’ whilst we are there!!
We arrived late at night after Chile had just lost to Spain in the World Cup and the party was still going on. They were celebrating the fact they had qualified for the knock-out stages so they were all in the streets beeping car horns, waving flags and also burning the Brazilian flag down by the beach in preparation for the next game. We have generally spent our time watching football and chilling out in Iquique. Although I have managed to get dumped by the waves several times whilst surfing. All that time I spent surfing 8 years ago has completely gone out the window and I am having to start a fresh when we get to Australia. The hostel we are staying at is great and if they are not putting on a BBQ you are free to host one of your own. The other night we went to buy a huge lump of steak and it was enough for 2 meals for the both of us. Unfortunately the weather has not been great so our beach time has been limited but the hostel has a pool table, ping pong table and a big dog who is definitely the boss and is sat up on the bench next to me as I write this blog….Ouzo!!!