Right, I have returned to the trip now. I flew up to Arica this morning. The shuttle picked me up at 5am - a highly uncivilised time - to be at the airport by 6.20. It only takes half an hour to get there. Silly. And I couldn´t sleep on the flight because there was a Mormon (actually lots of them on the flight) constantly banging the back of my seat. I wanted to punch him.
But it is good to be up and running again. I´m disappointed that I missed San Pedro de Atacama but I think it was wise to get my health back on track before continuing. It just means we will have to come back again at a later date.
Arica... I don´t really know what to say about it. I have never seen so much sand in my entire life. And the whole journey from La Serena is the same. Just undulating mounds of sand. Just to put that into perspective, the bus rom La Serena to Arica is about 20 hours non stop. It just seems endless. However, I am pleased with my decision to fly here rather than bus. I don´t care how comfy the seats are, 20 hours is a lot. I think we have a few more bus rides like that to come. Cuzco to Lima is 25 hours. Hopefully we can break it up a bit.
Marty and I went for a walk down to the beach today. The pelicans were having a feast on some unknown fish. There were other creatures involved in the frenzy but we couldn´t make out what they were. They kept sticking their heads out of the water but the were too far away to identify. I figure they were either seals (lobos del mar), otters or turtles. I will have to make enquiries as to what they could be.
The pelicans are spectacular birds. Enormous! It was really relaxing watching them playing in the waves and having a munch. I can´t get over their beaks!
We´re heading to Arequipa tomorrow morning. Will stay there for a few days to accustom ourselves to the altitude (2300m) and then to Cuzco (3300m) and Machu Picchu (2500m). I´m a little bit nervous about altitude sickness but I keep thinking of Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mt Everest. If he can make it to 8848m, I can bloody well do 3300m! It will not beat me! The human body is surprisingly hardy.
Anyway, the blog will be attended to more regularly again now. It had been a bit neglected.
K :)Head pelican banquet at the banquet