Two Days, Three Nations

Chile is a pretty long nation. It’s about as long as the US is wide. Long enough that cutting due west from La Paz, we landed in the northernmost outpost of Arica, located on the Chilean side of the Atacama desert. The trip, including the high altitude border crossing, was over 9 hours long. Our final, bumpy, random-person-shoved-in-your-face taste of the Bolivian transit system.

Arriving in Chile from Bolivia is quite a significant change. After nearly two months, we had become relatively accustomed to life in Bolivia. Our arrival in Arica from La Paz felt as if we had parachuted into an unknown town in Southern California. Palm tree-lined boulevards sporting billboards for the local mega-market, Blockbuster Video, auto-dealer or you name it.

We never got around to posting our Chile v. Argentina Smackdown Nacional, but, to offer a preview, I will say that Lex and I are big fans of the Chilean people. We had a nice time in under 24 hours on Chilean soil, leaving early in the morning so as to avoid a national test of the Tsunami evacuation system scheduled to occur at a random time the day of our departure.

We arrived in Peru via collective taxi from Arica, settling into the southernmost town of Tacna around lunchtime. Thanks to a recommendation from the lady at the Cruz Del Sur bus company, we enjoyed a 6 sole set-lunch at Tacna’s premier vegetarian restaurant. (That’s under $3 for salad, soup & main!) Following lunch, we returned to the bus terminal to board our northbound flotilla for the city of Arequipa, Peru.

After two months of Bolivian bus rides, it is quite a pleasure to ride with the ultra-luxe Cruz Del Sur fleet. Clean bathroom, climate control, spacious seats, vegetarian meal options, even wifi internet–‘Das Cruz has got it all, baby! A very good thing, considering the fact that we will be traveling the entire distance of Peru over land in little over a week.

Friday afternoon, we will board an overnight bus for Lima, where we will settle into the Miraflores district for a few days. We plan to explore some of Lima’s cultural offerings and spend some time by the sea before resuming our northbound travels. From Lima, we head another 14 hours north to the coastal town of Trujillo before turning east into the Andes to eventually make our entry into Ecuador.

If time elapses between this post and future updates, it is safe to assume we are nestled in the plush seats of a Cruz Del Sur luxury liner, somewhere headed north on the Pan-American Highway.

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About andesnotthemint

Alexis, Mark, 2 seasons, 1 continent, a very long mountain range.
This entry was posted in Bolivia, Chile, Food, La Paz, Mark, Peru and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Two Days, Three Nations

  1. mom wyman says:

    Glad to learn your travelling mode has improved
    Enjoy the trip !!
    love mom

  2. Emma says:

    Ah hem, you just said the bus has wi-fi, so you are not getting off the hook for posting new comments that easily. I expect hourly updates on road conditions, how many people are snoring, and the quality of the food with pictures of the scenery going by.

  3. We second Emma’s suggestion.

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