Saturday, 26 December 2009

Friday 25th December

Happy Christmas everybody. Sorry about the rather short note previously - we had a very slow connection so were struggling to do anything useful.

We set out reasonably early this morning, via Vicuna, for La Serena - the largest town in this part of the world - to find that absolutely nothing was open. In Vicuna he entire place was pretty much deserted and the office for arranging observatory tours had a fantastic sign outside (see picture).

We were hoping to find an internet café or equivalent for a late breakfast and to catch up with home. Instead we found ourselves walking through a ghost town - the only other occupants of which were other tourists vainly looking for an establishment displaying that good old consumerist urge that we've all come to know and love. By noon, rather than consumerism, it was starvation calling the shots.

Eventually in desperation we try La Serena's biggest hotel (not actually all that big) where we check in and have Christmas dinner - an artichoke-based starter, beef (for Caroline) or salmon (for Olly) main course and strange junket-like dessert, washed down with pisco sours.

After lunch a bit of sunbathing followed by a dip in the pool. Not a bad way to spend Christmas! Went for a walk down the beach (seems to be the Chilean way to spend the afternoon), the weather took a turn for the worse and it was rather more Skegness than St Tropez - though we did see Chile's equivalent of Baywatch... though not so easy on the eyes. Where's the Hoff when you need him? (eurghh says Caroline)

Nice to talk to those who were on Skype and thank you to everyone for the Christmas emails and best wishes.

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