This weekend we decided to hit the road, departing from Pisco Elqui (where we have been living in Chile, in case that is news to you!):
(view from our home’s porch, up the valley):
The valley behind leads down from our town towards the sea and the "city" of La Serena…
… (which is in the IV Region of Chile) to head north towards Copiapo, capital of the III Region. A gorgeous drive on the new "coast highway" in the III Region, about 200 miles of "dirt" road that drives like a dream–we could make 60mph+ for long stretches at a time. We saw 3 cars all day on Saturday, and literally 100s of miles of gorgeous beaches with few to no people on them. Here’s the road… sometimes straight as an arrow for 20-30 miles at a time.
the view out the window was captivating, and although we saw many "vicuna xsing" signs, we didn’t see any (vicunas are like llamas… wild in this part of the country)
Did I mention, the beaches were EMPTY? Here’s our car parked at the national park parking lot… gorgeous dunes, not a soul in sight!
At our northernmost point, we hit "Bahia Inglesa", a lovely beach resort with 150 full time inhabitants. There were about 50-60 beach goers there on the saturday, presumably from the nearby Copiapo and Caldera cities (towns of 50,000 or less, 90 minutes drive from this isolated beach):
We stayed in the hamlet of Huasco one night, caught the local children’s halloween costume parade, apparently becoming very popular down here in the southern hemisphere.
we hit a local market for fresh produce on our way back home; Cristina’s keen sense of haggling, developed in Beijing and in Chinese, has transitioned marvelously to the Chile/Spanish…
and then arrived home sweet home. All the best from the entire family, from Pisco Elqui Chile (sorry, couldn’t get a picture of all four of us yet–we’ll keep working on that!)