Wednesday, March 7, 2012


So after many hours (21) on a bus from Lima I finally arrived in Tacna the southern-most city in Peru on Friday. On the bus I was lucky to sit next to a Peruvian woman who was also on her way to Chile. We became friends and decided to do the border crossing together. 

The border crossing was very straight forward. We had to go through Peruvian customs and Chilean customs. To save money I took a bus across. These are a little slower and much more risky than the taxi's but they are much cheaper because they don't charge you per bag like the taxi's do. It took about an hour to cross the border and get dropped off in Arica. Arica is the northern most town in Chile and its known for beaches and surfing.

The next bus ticket to Santiago was not until Sunday so I decided to explore Arica and the surrounding region. I took a day trip to Parque Nacional Lauca which is at 5,000 meters of elevation (16,000ft). At the park we got to see lamas, alpacas, vicunas and a volcano. I also met Simon who is a native of Santiago. 

The elevation gain gave me a headache but other than that I felt fine. To help with altitude sickness I drank coca tea, made from soaking coca leaves. We arrived late into Arica. 

The next day I visited a museum with the oldest mummies in the world. They are 8,000 years old thousands of years older than the Egyptian mummies. It was really cool to read about the Chinchorro culture. 

I then headed down to Santiago on a 31 hour bus ride. For over a day we drove through desert with little vegetation. I was happy to arrive in Santiago and see trees and rivers. I have spent the last couple of days exploring Santiago and recovering.

Today I climbed Cerro San Cristobal on the tram. From the top I hiked with my friends around the cerro and back down to our hostel. It was quite a hike. From the top (la cumbre) you can see most of Santiago. It looks like it goes on forever, that's why I say "most". It is very sunny and hot in Santiago. The city is surrounded by the Andes mountains. 

Tonight I am heading to a BBQ where I am promised some veggies and salmon. Very excited. 


  1. I'm so proud of you, you are such an adverturous and tough girl. GO RENNIE !!

  2. An advenurer you definitly are ... great photos too! Dad