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Showing posts from May, 2018

The End of Big City Season: Valparaiso and Santiago

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Nothing has changed taking overnight buses. I never sleep well, and I always get the seat next to the guy yelling on his cell phone keeping the baby one seat in front of me screaming. That said, I take them every chance I can, and love walking into a new city at dawn. Such was my thought process arriving to the amazing city of Valparaiso. However, when I stepped off the bus at 6:30AM Saturday morning, it might as well have been midnight. It was pitch black, misting, and the streets near the bus station were deserted. My destination was a hostel named La Esquina on a hill named Cerro Alegre (translation: happy hill). If you were wondering why I picked that hostel, my disposition was happy and I like corner lots (La Esquina). Yes, it is very scientific.

At night, because in Valparaiso 7:00am was still night, the streets, empty except for a graffiti speckled grunge, caused a heightened sense of caution. As I approached the base of the hostel’s hill, creatures of the night appeared. The…

Moon, Stars, and Pisco: San Pedro de Atacama, La Serena, and Valle del Elqui

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The walk seemed never ending on the road. I reconsidered going to the valley that night as my energy weaned and the hours crept by. The sun radiated and my feet sweltered after walking more than 18 miles along desert roads and dirt canyons with a full pack. The dog ran next to me the whole day and offered company in a desolate landscape. A few more miles to walk through the valley of the moon, and I would find a place to camp. It was worth it. This was Chile. The land of adventure, and I was writing my own story.

Fresh off my string of buses through Ecuador, Peru, and Northern Chile, the landscape of San Pedro de Atacama was a golden color at sunrise when I stepped off the bus. Before heading off on a walk through the desert, something I was unfamiliar with, there were a few necessities I had to ensure were in order. The most important being breakfast of course. At the bus station I found a place and got my fill, charged my devices, and packed up my 50 pound pack with an extra 1.5L of…