We hadn't had much romance in La Paz, so we decided to travel to a faraway land to scout for boys and enjoy some seaside heat.
We took the early bus and headed off along the highway for Chile.
We crossed the border into Chile after being licked and charmed by the lovely Chilean sniffer dog. Immediately, we were driving through Lauca National Park, which is crammed full of snow-capped volcanoes, icy lakes and fluffy, poofy-coated llamas.
We both started to develop grinding headaches, as we reached a dizzying altitude of 6000m above sea level!
The climate grew warmer and more humid as we descended towards the Pacific Ocean. The environment grew more and more desert like. Mountains became gigantic sand dunes, and the odd palm tree came into view.
We skimmed along the coast and entered Arica. Street after street was lined palm trees.
We alighted and enjoyed a cold, crisp Coca Cola from a kiosk at the side of the road.
The climate was luscious and warm - so we stood and bathed in the air for a little while before hitching a cab to our hostel - The Surfhouse.
The hostel was gorgeous. Distressed surfboards hung from the walls, sand all over the floor and everybody had shaggy, sunburnt hair. We quickly unpacked our bags and headed out to get a beach look of our own.
We cut across town, through market streets and marbled plazas towards the coastline.
And getting mildly distracted by pretty things along the way...
The beach was pretty splendid.
The sand was really spiky though, so it was a son of a bitch to walk on. Not to mention I had a cut on my foot so the sand was getting right in there and pissing me off good-style.
Once we got in the water, it was all ok (after a minute of solid pain due to said cut...)
So it was a pleasure to be reunited with the sea anyways!
We had our fun in the water, then clambered out and went for a wander on the rocks around the cove, which were dotted with lounging pelicans and all kinds of seabirds jetting through the air.
Me and Florencia threw our clothes back onto our damp, sandy bodies and walked back along the promenade into town in search of a sunset dinner.
As it got dark, we came across a glitzy restaurant perched right on the seafront called Mister Buey - it looked like it had just been launched. We stopped in and nicked a table on the balcony overlooking the sea. By the time we had a few cocktails, it was pitch black, but you could still hear the ocean whooshing and whispering in the background. It was incredibly easy to let go of our week's stress here, and so we did. We guzzled at coconut mojitos and a stuffed chicken. It was the nicest food we had eaten in our entire time in South America - no doubt.
We were also pretty smashed after just two cocktails, which must have been handsomely laden with booze.
As always, casual drinks turned into predrinking. We made our way back to the town centre to down a few more boozy elixirs and spend the rest of the night dancing.
And so we did.
The main square was filled with people watching traditional dancers visiting from Bolivia.
The town streets were all alive with socialising and drinking. Tables poured out onto the marbled streets and people sat chatting, laughing and looking gorgeous. We joined them!
I went for a Cocoa Orgasm and Florencia went for a Long Island. Both were lethal mixes of about 4 types of booze.
By the end we were away with the fairies. We started chatting to a group of Chileans, who were on holiday from the southern Patagonia region of the country. We chatted, laughed, flirted, got on like a house on fire, and decided to go clubbing together.
We shared a taxi ride, which was full of singing and sharing around cans of Paceña lager. We were sat on each others' laps, slopping lager everywhere and singing. I don't think it crossed our mind that we were going out with total strangers in a strange city. I dunno. Maybe it did. We probably wouldn't have cared anyhow!
We arrived at a club in the middle of nowhere - Soho Discotheque. It looked like an old warehouse that had been converted into a mega-club.
It was hella' expensive! About £8 per drink. I got a Cuba Libre ('Free Cuba'), which is essentially Coca Cola and Rum (Coca Cola = capitalist USA, Rum = communist Cuba, therefore, Free Cuba!) It was literally a glass of two-thirds rum and a dash of Coca Cola. At least we were getting our money's worth!
We partied well into the night until everything got hazy...
The next day, I was shaken awake by Florencia. We planned to visit Playa Corazones, 'the Beach of Hearts' that day. We went downstairs and tucked into a delightful eggy breakfast. Afterwards, we crashed on the sofa to use some wifi. Before we knew it, BAM.
We slept in that lobby for 3 whole hours, snuggled like Joey and Ross.
The guy working on the desk had to wake us up. When we saw the time, we sadly realised we didn't have enough time to do everything we wanted to do before our journey back to La Paz. Instead, we opted to just chill out before our bus.
Later that afternoon, we boarded our bus back to La Paz. We were dehydrated, still pretty hungover and fragile, and slept even more on the way back! We must have racked up a good 12 hours of sleep in total!
I woke up at stops and managed to admire some of the gorgeous natural scenery of Lauca National Park - llamas, volcanoes, deserts, lakes.
It was a lovely weekend away. The climate was perfect, the environment was beautiful, and the people there were absolutely gorgeous. Florencia was a real treat to travel with: laid-back, sassy, hilarious and always up for a good time. Whenever a hot stranger walked by, me and Florencia would look back, turn to each other and snigger like little bitches. Equally so for the creepy guys. I guess we have the same taste!
Hope you enjoyed the adventure!
Know of any other great places in Chile? I gotta go back one day!
Ciao for now! ;)