Arica & Iquique - Chile {Traveldiary}


Passing the boarder from Peru to Chile was a bit of a Chaos. 
After saying goodbye to D. In Arequipa I made my way to the busstation. 
I got the last ticket for a Bus setting of to the Boardertown Tacna. After a five hour bus ride with an amazing view over a deserted landscape we arrived in the non spectacular city. I had to ask around a bit where the bus to Arica would leave from. I finally found the other busstation that is just across the street (to blind to see it in first place). 
The chaos started at that station. As soon as I arrived I found a place overcrowded by mostly national and chilenian people trying to get a bus or cab to the boarder. Long lines of people everywhere. People shouting, running, triying to overpass you with their big bags full of stuff. 
It took me a while to get orientated. I payed the Terminal Taxes and tried to find the right place to go. After a while someone got me the tip to not go for a cab because it would take ages to get one but to go for the buses. Another line of people. Bus drivers running around collecting people, screaming how much space they have. I was there with my three bags trying to get a bus. 
At some point a bus driver screamed: "in pasajero mas un pasajero!".
I run to him passing all the people with my huge bags. Waving with my passport to let him know I need a seat. He looked at me and screamed I should follow him. 
He ran to his bus, apparently ready to instantly leave. Told me i should get in. I pointed to my stuff and he tried taking my backpack to put it in the bus. It took me a while to get off my stuff and to jump in the bus. He was just there saying I should hurry! We had a time limit?! 
There was no free seat so he gave me the front seat of his next to the actual bus driver. It took us another fifteen minutes until me left. So stress for nothing. The driver started playing loud Peruvian music, drove way to fast and I tried to hold on to the seat without crashing into the front window. 
After an uncomfortable hour we made it to the boarder and more stress was previewed. At the first boarder we had to take all our stuff and leave the bus for the exit stamp. Afterwards we drove to the chilenian boarder. More stress. Hundreds of people, cars and buses lined up. I tried to remember people from my bus not to loose them or the bus. 
With all my stuff I tried to get to migration. Everyone was so pushy. Pretending they actually cared about a time limit. Seriously after migration we still had to wait at least half an hour for our bus. 
Finally after another twenty minutes we arrived in Arica where I took a cab to my hostel. 
The hostel was empty. The Carnival was just over and everyone left. We were a group of five people in the whole hostel. Three Aussies, an switz guy and me. 
But we where a fun group. We decided to go for the beach the following day. With towels and swimsuits we thought we'll go explore the great surf town. 
Or should I say the ghost town? No backpackers anywhere, no people. Half empty beaches. I got so burned there. The atacama sun is extreme. 
Every five minutes we had to get up to go for a swim. After two hours at the beach we decided to leave and kept on walking a bit. We drunk some coke and beer at an overpriced restaurant with unfriendly personal. 
Mid afternoon we left for the hostel and decided to make Caipirinhas and Guacamole. So we brought all the important things at a supermarket and spend the rest of the day together at the hostel in the shade. Drinking way to many Caipirinhas, eating way to much Guacamole. 
We played card games until late night. 
Arica was wort a visit for one day. But during low season there's not much to do. 
I decided to leave the boarder city and I to Iquique. 

Iquique is a fun, lively surftown. It also has the biggest urban sand dune of the world. (And a population of 180thousand, if anyone's interested). 
I checked into a cool hostel next to the main beach. I met two Americans there and we got some beer to watch the sunset at the beach. 
We got along well and decided to go surfing during the day. 
I also signed up for Sandboarding. I even managed to get the two to subscribe as well. 
So after an early night we met up in the morning and went to a place to rent some surfboards. It felt like a Californian beach town. It was great. The waves were perfect, my board was really good and the weather was perfect. 
I am not the best surfer. Actually I am pretty shitty. So after catching some waves, standing up half way, falling down every time I decided to just chill behind the breaking point. The guys joined me after a while. We where hanging on our surfboards talking about god knows what. Before leaving the water I tried getting some more waves. I felt like I got better, still I was terrible. 
We brought back the boards and got ready for sandboarding. 
What a actionrich day. We got picked up at our hostel and drove to te sand dune. In the back of the car our Sandboards. 
I thought we would go up with a sanbuggy, just to realize we had to walk up there. It was still extremely hot but we made it to the top of one dune. 
To get started the instructor gave us candles. Yes candles. I thought, oh well it's getting romantic here, but no, to go down the dunes with the board you need candle wax. You need to rub the candle on the backside of the board, otherwise you would get stuck in the sand. 
So we rubbed our boards, attached them to our feet and went for our first run. 
Its a bit like snowboarding, just more dificult, because doing turns in the sand is quiet a challenge. You basicly just go straight. After some runs and running up and down for ages we decided to try the bigger sand dune. It took us a while to get up there but the view was amazing. A huge sand dune next to a big city. 
Sandboarding down the bigger sand dune was really funny! One of the us guys managed to get stuck in the sand loads of time, he did not wax his board well enough! We laughed our asses of how he was just standing on his non moving board trying to get down. 

It was a fun actionrich day. That ended with me going to bed early again. Since when did I get old?? 

The last day was really relaxed. I dont think I did anything. I think the only thing i ve done was lying in my hammack, reading, talking to people and sleeping. I had booked a night bus to Atacama for the evening.

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