Hot: Completos. Between our entire group, we consumed upwards of 20 completos. Like I’m actually pretty sure it was around that number. For just 3 days. If you want to include completo burgers (not sure of the actual name– it’s just a burger with avocado, tomato, and mayo aka a burger sent straight from heaven), then it’s probably closer to 25. And our group is small. Like we should win a medal or something.
Not: Clouds. La Serena and the surrounding valleys are known for their observatories, which allow you to see every star in the universe (from my understanding). However, the entire time we were there, the sky was covered in dark gray shadows. Cloudy days are sad in general, but even more sad when the entire reason you travelled to an area was to see what’s just behind those clouds.
Hot: Rooftop Hostels. Luckily for us, our hostel was way cool and had a rooftop where you could hang out. So Saturday night, as we were chillin’ on the roof with some of our Canadian friends who happened to be in town at the same time as us, and in the same hostel (small world), we looked up and saw that the sky had finally cleared. At literally the last moment possible, we got to see the famous stars of La Serena. Beautiful.
Not: Pisco tastings. Pisco is this type of alcohol that originated in Chile (or Peru if you ask someone from Peru) and is made from grapes, which are plentiful in this region. The Elqui Valley, which we visited on Saturday during the day, is famous for their pisco distilleries. So we went on a tour of one of them. Which was not the most thrilling thing in the world. It was all in Spanish, and while I caught the general idea of our tour guide’s explanations, I could literally care less about how pisco is made. I mean it was semi interesting, and definitely a beautiful place to tour. It was such a big contrast- super lush vineyard next to a dried out mountain range and a cloudy sky. Really pretty. But at the end they had you do a pisco tasting. Which is nothing like a wine tasting if you’re wondering. I know old men live for straight alcohol, like scotch on the rocks or whatever, but holy cow I don’t think I could do that more than once. As tour guide is explaining “the fruity notes” and “dry aroma” of the pisco, I’m gagging from the sip I just took of what might as well have been pure rubbing alcohol. Awful. We did get free pisco sours at the end, which were much more appealing to my taste buds/ gag reflex.
Hot: Finding souvenir central and stocking up on prezzies for my fam back home. You’re gonna love them. But don’t expect anything too extravagant I have a limited amount of funds down here, like seriously don’t get your hopes up.
Not: Losing your iphone aka your camera, ipod, map, translator, address book, alarm clock, dictionary, internet, messenger, clock, calendar, LIFE. Apparently I didn’t realize how much I used my iphone for until it was gone. Like I seriously kept my whole world on this little tiny piece of metal and now it’s in someone else’s hands. If whoever has it now happens to be reading this, I hope you know taking things that aren’t yours is bad karma. Just fyi. Now my only source of communication is my laptop so if I lose this (which like seriously I’m pretty flaky so I’m not gonna rule that out) I’m totally screwed. But RIP iphone you will be missed.
Hot: Travel Books. This was the first trip where I actually cracked my Chilean guide book open. And while it literally did our group no good (I think I got us lost more times than I actually found places) it was nice pretending like I actually knew something about the region we were in. Like did you know that they renamed part of the Elqui Valley “Pisco Elqui,” because of all the controversy between Chile and Peru about who actually invented it? Everyone loves fun facts, am I right?
Not: Being sick on vacay. A couple of us were feeling kind of coughy. Which sucked because we were so tired the whole trip. In the end though, it turned out to be a really relaxing trip, even more so with all of the extra naps we took.
Overall a great time. Even with the cloudy weather, who can really be sad around a good group of people and an abundance of completos.