Day 10 : Salida

Monday 26 May 2014

On the way up to La Serena a few days ago, I mused on what it would be like to take a travel companion and two motorbikes, and just ride the full length of the Pan-American Highway (probably North to South, no idea why). It would be one of those epic journeys that they could make a 6-part TV series about, probably with Ewan McGregor in the lead role (which obviously wouldn’t be me).

Today, coming back down the Pan-American Highway, I mused on how silly that idea was, because it’s really really such a boring road. And that’s just in this small (470km) section, further North where there’s nothing much to look at except the passing buses to places like Arica and Antofagasta, spending longer than you really need to on that leg would be something akin to Hellish.

So I’m not going to do that.
I did contemplating flying down from La Serena instead, but that would a) have cost £55 as opposed to £8, and b) made me arrive at Santiago airport 5 hours before my flight leaves, which even for a trans-continental journey is a little excessive.
That said, I was kind of lucky to get the bus at all, or at least that bus. I left Pisco Elqui around 8.30am for a two hour journey back to La Serena, that for some reason ended up taking over 2 and a half hours. Although buses are quite regular throughout the day, there were a couple just after 11 that would be useful to catch.
Fortunately it was late. It left around half an hour late and eventually arrived into Santiago maybe an hour and a bit late, I kind of lost the will to live somewhere around Los Vilos.

I bought quite a bit of food today, ostensibly to use up my Pesos. Although at the time of writing I still have a couple of big notes, it only really works out to be about £25 and I’m not sure it’s really worth changing them; plus I’d have to change them into Aussie Dollars which aren’t in themselves the most convertible of currencies.

Quite a low-key end to my trip to Chile, I have to say; typing this while sat at the gate waiting for my flight to board. Still have an hour. It’s been a cool place, started slowly but worked up to nice things, but yes, next time I come to South America (scheduled for next March), I will need to learn Spanish.

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