First impression of Tacna Peru is that the drivers are sane and the city is beautiful. Very different from Lima. We stayed 2 nights and took a tour of the surrounding area including a visit to some petrogliphs and a winery where they make Pisco. That night we took at taxi and crossed the border into Chile to a town called Arica, the city of eternal spring. Again a beautiful calm city. Changed my opinion of Latin America after the craziness of Lima.
In Arica, Chile we also stayed 2 nights and took a tour up to Lake Chungara. This is the highest non navigable lake in the world at 16000 ft. Altitude sickness is a bitch. Thse tour stops every few thousand feet for 15-30 minutes to allow you to adjust. About 14000 ft things got interesting with a bad pain around my stomach which has taken 2 days to abate. I think it was pressure against old hernias. When you reach those altitudes you expand. When you come down you are full of gasses that you have to get rid of 🙂 There is abundant wildlife up at the top but up to then there is little because most of the country is desert. We saw a lot of Alpaca and Llamas.
We got back to Arica at 8PM and caught a bus to Antofagasta at 10:45 These are nice buses with sleeper seats. It was a 12 hour trip. We are staying with my old college roommate in his beautiful apartment overlooking the ocean.
Things here are expensive. I have had trouble changing dollars because they wont take the dollars unless they are the new ones ($100,00) and most importantly must be in mint condition. Frustrating. Have not been able to get the phone to work right yet.. 4 hours difference here. Miss you all.. See you later