Friday, March 3, 2017

Beach Day!

Our last day in La Serena - we decided not to join the Elqui Runners tomorrow morning - and so we had great plans to enjoy a day at the beach! Or a morning. Turned out that by the time we got ourselves out of bed, gorged on breakfast and packed our bags, we had about an hour at the beach. It was fun to play in the waves for an hour, anyway!

In Europe, Mindy's introduction to bus travel was a noisy and smelly overnight bus with some loud and drunk neighbours and the reek of the driver's cigarettes. I guess there's one every trip! We had limited options for our bus drive back to Santiago, and in retrospect I would say the one we took was the wrong choice. It was filthy! The seat-backs were short and uncomfortable for my six-foot frame. (I have more sympathy for my 6'5" brothers on airplanes now.) The washroom, which thankfully I didn't have to use but Mindy did, was foul. Ugh! Hours later, once we had grown accustomed to this new standard of travel, I was entertained when a woman boarded the bus at one stop to see drinks and pastries to the passengers, and then disembarked an hour later down the road. I suppose she will attempt to market her goods on another bus heading the opposite direction for a lift back.

Of course I would have preferred a cleaner, better quality bus. Then again, it's useful, I think, to see how much of the world lives. Besides, as Mindy and I talked about it, this was training for travel to other parts of the world which are even dirtier, like India!

Finally back in Santiago, we made our way to our eclectic guesthouse for the night. Owned by an artist and decorated with her productions, this bed and breakfast had a certain bohemian feel, enhanced by the friendly hosts (who tried to insist that we either sit down and have a drink with them, or that they would join us going out for dinner). Maybe it was just the relief of being off that bus, but I was immediately hooked!

...and only temporarily so. Despite the cool artwork on the walls, our stuffy room's small, sagging, single beds and awkward bathroom (with no proper door) was not enhanced by the noisy guests smoking and talking just outside. We opted not to have our guests join us for dinner, and found a lively street for dinner.

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