Friday 23 May 2014
La Serena is quite a pretty little town; ‘little’ being the operative word. Having spent my entire trip so far in capital cities, it does feel like quite a small and ‘intimate’ place. It also feels quite affluent – I’ve certainly not found any of the back-alleys, dodgy neighbourhoods, or even street art that have followed me everywhere so far. The city centre itself is gridded with roads where there is no real separation between road and pavement, and lined with shops and churches. It feels actually quite British, like a well-to-do seaside resort But not Southport. As I used to live there and know it’s not well-to-do, it just likes to think it is.
I did actually go to the beach too; quite a weird experience in a way. It’s been a really nice day – warm, dry, sunny, slight cooling breeze from the sea – almost perfect weather really. The beach is pretty long, and curves away with the shoreline for several km, all the way presumably to Coquimbo to the South-West, no idea how far it stretches North. It’s also reasonably wide, or at least plenty of space to spread out and do beachy-type things. So in the UK, it would have been quite busy there today.
I wasn’t quite the only person on it, but apart from a couple of surfers, the only people milling around were a couple of ‘couples’ and the occasional walker. Technically it’s ‘out-of-season’, being very late Autumn, but I can’t believe that people wouldn’t take more advantage of living in such a climate to get outdoors as much s possible. I also refuse to believe that they thought it was cold.
Didn’t do a lot else, but I’ve made tentative plans and asked questions about what I should be doing over the next couple of days. I’ve also booked my first hostel in Australia, three nights in Fremantle this time next week. Tomorrow I’m in a hostel-type place I found online, where I think no-one speaks English at all, in the small town of Pisco Elqui. We’ll see if this turns out to be a complete disaster…