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My Vacation from Traveling
Yup, that´s right - I´m taking a vacation from traveling. I know what you´re all thinking "a vacation? are you not already on vacation?"... contrary to popular opinion, traveling can actually be a lot of hard work: climbing mountains, getting sun burns, trying to find a hostel at 2am, 31 hour bus rides through the Andes, 7 day without showers and even 41 days (and counting!) without shaving.
All of these inconveniences slowly take their toll, which made me almost cheer at the sight of the beautiful paved roads as we crossed over the Bolivian boarder into Chile. From there I´ve traveled a ways North to find the amazing beach town Iquique waiting. I really didn´t expect things to be so nice here. Palm trees are everywhere, the beach is full of white sand, surfers infest the water, the sun is hot and the city´archetecture spectacular. It all reminds me a lot of Maui although with a more Spanish and only a sprinkling of gringos lurking about.
With the beach across the street from my hostel, I´ve taken to waking up late, reading Harry Potter and even working on my tan. There hasn´t been much progress on the tan (I´m still as white as the Salt Flats!) but I am pretty relaxed right now. For the first time I truly feel like I´m on vacation. I´ve even involuntarily taken a break from posting photos due to lack of speedy computers here. However, I´ve found a few good shots from other photographers to post so you have a feel for where I am.
You may have noticed that I didn´t just say "where we are", which correctly implies that I´m by my lonesome for the week. The whole story about why I´m not with the other two Amigos is fairly long, so I won´t take the time to retell everything here. Lets just say that I have a nack for loosing important things, like say... a credit card, in Bolivia. To shorten the story considerably, I´ll jump to the part where I quickly needed to find a town in Chile to send my emergency replacement card to. The Lonely Planet description of Iquique looked great and was in the North near Bolivia. I quickly got the card sent off in the mail and everything seemed perfect. That is until we got to Uyuni and realized that we´d be crossing into Chile at San Pedro De Atacama, a good 7 - 9 hours South of Iquique.
Our planned destination in Chile is the capital Santiago. Jeremy and Aaron weren´t too keen on adding a couple of day detour onto 30 hours of busing down the coast so we decided to go our separate ways temporarily. While they are out hiking (more) mountains in the Southern Lake District, I´m sitting here relaxing on the warm, sandy beach. After a few more days sitting around here I´m scheduled for more sitting around, this time on the brutally long bus ride to catch up to my tavel-mates in Santiago. Just the thought of the ride is making me want to head back to the beach! Ciao for now...