Ugh, it has been a rough couple of days.
I'm back in Santiago again. Marty and Greg are in San Pedro de Atacama. We got to La Serena and stayed one night. the next morning we got a bus through Valle de Elqui but I got really sick again so decided it was best for me to come back here and get over this stupid sickness before I carry on. I couldn't face a 16 hour bus ride into the middle of the desert feeling like I was.
Valle de Elqui was beautiful though. There are huge dusty hills on either side of the narrow road and at the bottom (and part way up these hills) there are lush vineyards. It is a bizarre sight to see arid land and then across the fence vibrant green plants. The vineyards in the valley are not for producing wine but instead it is made into pisco in Vicuna. The Capel 'brewery' is there and Capel pisco seems to be the most readily available form of the drink. And it's dirt cheap. Around $6NZ for close to a litre.
In Montegrande (almost at the end of the valley) we stopped and Marty and Greg sampled some of the local fare. Pisco Sours and a natural beer, Die M, from Valdivia in the south of Chile. I, unfortunately, was limited to water and buscopina drops to ease chronic stomach cramps and some unnamed herbal tea. I am looking forward to the day I can eat a proper meal and indulge in a glass of local wine. If I have to eat much more dry bread or plain rice I may cry.
Today i am feeling better though. My appetite is back and my mood is brighter. Things are starting to look up again. I'm trying to book a flight to Arica to meet up with Marty and Greg on Tuesday but I'm having internet issues. I just hope they don't sell out.
Anyway, I better get going. I will try and upload photos at a later date. This computer is having issues.