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Rumbling earth, Penguins and Pisco

La Serena, Chile

After another 7 hour bus adventure we arrived in the small, but not without charm, town of La Serena and promptly booked ourselves on two tours of the surrounding area. We spend the first afternoon just wandering around and sussing out the place along with getting back into the swing of having a big, late Chilean lunch.

The next morning, just before we were to be picked up for our tour, we were greeted by an earthquake! Very strange experience that lasted about 45 seconds with slow rumbling climaxing to a reasonably big shake at the end, but nothing damaging. Our hostel host informed us that it was almost a weekly event!!! We now know why all the pavement around town is a bit uneven.

Our tour took us north of La Serena to Reserva Nacional Pinguino de Humboldt where we hopped on a boat out to Isla Choros and Isla Damas to see the wildlife and beautiful surroundings. What a great experience, we saw Sealions, Dolphins, Humboldt Penguins, thousands of birds, a massive whale bone and some beautiful coastline and on the way we finally saw some Guanaco! We´ve seen plenty of Llamas, Alpacas and Vicuñas in our travels but the fourth member of the family illuded us until now.

Today we took a tour inland into the Elqui Valley famous for being a fabulous Pisco growing area, and also having a fog that stayed around until lunch time. Unfortunately today turned out to be the Chilean day of the Mariners or something like that so every town we went to had a parade going on which closed the only road through it and most of the museums and pisco factories we were supposed to visit! Nonetheless, we found some places open and saw some things that we didn´t expect so not all was lost. The valley is beautiful with lots of patchwork farming and fabulous barren pre Cordillera mountains as a backdrop. Also, this area is famous for having only 3 rain days per year, and guess what happened! Not a lot mind you, but we´ve seen something a lot of people haven´t.

Tomorrow its another long bus trip back to Santiago for our last two days before coming home - can´t wait to see you all.

Andy & Cath.

permalink written by  Cath & Andy on May 21, 2007 from La Serena, Chile
from the travel blog: A journey to the alter and South America
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Join us on our journey to our wedding and our 2-month South American honeymoon. We will be married on 31 March 2007, in Narooma Australia and are honeymooning through Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina in April and May 2007.

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