Heading Northward – Chile

Here are a few photos and some descriptions about our journey northward. The most significant part of the journey was what we saw along the way, so it makes sense to let you see the photos rather than write much about it this time.

water bottle
One of the things you do while bored at midnight on the bus to Chile… play with water bottles and headlamps and then take photos of it.

Making the next bus
Arriving in Santiago, we did not even get our bags off the first bus before they were calling us over to this next bus as it was ready for departure and waiting for us.

First beaches north of Santiago
Some of the first beaches north of Santiago in Chile were beautiful and very inviting too. If ever there comes an opportunity, I can see a return to the old sport of spear-fishing again.

wind power
Wind turbines indicate that this place sees a lot more wind than we experienced during our trip.

Sleeping beauties
It’s probably a bit mean to put this photo up, but the reality was that Yamila and Lorena slept through virtually the entire journey. So it seemed appropriate to share it as part of our experience on the journey northward. Of course they missed out on all of the wonderful sights because they were sleeping.

Vegetation exists
Note how much grass and vegetation exists here. This is still relatively close to Santiago. It changes quickly however.

Seaside resort
An (almost) island seaside resort. It does look very inviting. No idea where it is, as we only found our map of Chile once we had reached Peru. So it has not helped us at all.

Local fishing villiage
A local fishing village, and the place where the bus almost left without us. I had visited the local loo, and when I returned to the bus, it had already pulled out from the platform and was about to take off. Fortunately the door was still open, so I dived inside before it closed. Somehow I suspect (hope) they were waiting for me in their own, rather rushed, way.

Barren household
Suddenly the landscape changes to mostly desert. This is one lonely house in the middle of a long drive to nowhere. It surprised me just how many people chose to live in the middle of nowhere… and I still wonder where they get the water they need to survive out there.

Not only barren, but also rocky
The landscape was not only barren, but also rocky and barren in some places.

The desert-scape was quite amazing in places as we looked out over the amazing mountains that surrounded us. Climbing up and over them caused our ears to pop frequently.

Greenery where there is water
Not everywhere was desert. In some places there were rivers that sustained enough water to reach the sea. Sometimes this water was a mere trickle, but the people built farms around it and dug holes to capture it. As a result there were a couple of places with really green farmland that stood out in sharp contrast with the desert lands surrounding it.

Sunset on our first day. There was still the entire night and half a day left before we would reach Arica, our destination city at the top end of Chile.

Climbing mountains
The next day was more of the same, until we started climbing up and down many mountains and valleys such as this one.

Houses in a river-bed
Houses and properties built along the riverbed of a large valley. We had almost reach Arica by now, and came over the last hill to see hundreds of these houses stretching out along the dry riverbed. I guess it never floods in a place like this.

Houses along the riverbed
Looking out along the riverbed scattered with houses everywhere. They extended for a long way to the left also.

Coca-cola mountain
Coca-cola gets to etch its advertising slogan even into the mountains here.

Finally arrived in Arica
Finally we have arrived in Arica, the northernmost city of Chile, and right next to the border of Peru. It had been a long journey and we were all exhausted, so it was wonderful to know that we had made it this far.

Our journey northward in Chile was now over, well, apart from crossing the border that was.