On Tuesday August 2, I left Santiago (which I hope I’ve visited for the last time during this trip) to go to La Serena which is located 6 hours north of the capital.
In the evening I met Hayley who is half French and half English like me and apparently her aunt lives the next village from my grand-parents in the UK. Second coincidence: I met one of her friends when I was in Peru. We live in a small world even though this continent is massive. She told me she was going on a excursion to Punta de Choros the next day with another guy from the hostel, Andraz from Slovenia. I decided to go with them as I didn’t have any plans.
On Wednesday, we left to get a bus at 9 am. It was a two-hour ride to Punta de Choros which is located north of La Serena. We then had to pay an entrance fee of 6’000 pesos for Ilsa Damas as it’s a protected area. Afterwards we were each given a life-jacket and we climbed on board the boat. We sailed to a first island where we saw a lot of different sea animals ; cormorants, seals, sea lions, small penguins and dolphins. Unfortunately no whales but the dolphins were already a wonderful surprise! We weren’t able to go on the island as it’s a protected reserve.
The boat took us to Ilsa Damas, a little island where there are beautiful beaches with white sand. We were able to have a walk along the trails and explore this small piece of land. The sun came out when we arrived which was nice but it was still cold.
The boat took us back to the continent and we took the bus back to La Serena. In the evening we decided to cook together and we had a fancy meal with a nice piece of beef, oven potatoes and aubergines. It was yummy !
On Thursday, I went to Coquimbo with Hayley, it’s a town attached to La Serena. We went there to eat fish at lunch time then we came back. In the afternoon, we went to explore the streets of La Serena. It’s a lovely town with a pleasant atmosphere and many colonial buildings.
Friday, I left for two days in the Elqui valley, staying in the small village of Elqui Pisco located at the end of the valley. The weather was much better than La Serena where it’s grey and humid. It was warm and sunny all day and I really needed that because I’d been sick the previous few days. I didn’t do much during these two days, I went for little walks and relaxed in the sun.
On Sunday afternoon I returned to La Serena for one night, then I left for San Pedro de Atacama to make my way back to the north of Argentina.