La Serena is a convenient stop in Northern Chile, on the 24 hour bus North from Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama. It is a pretty beach resort that booms in summer and in winter it is still hot enough to sunbathe.
NB: La Serena continues the Claire feature that we wegetlost are running at the moment.
This is the beach that we walked to during the day, we couldn't paddle as we were taking a night bus later that day and didn't want to be sandy, so we sat on benches like old old people do... Jason is 32 in a few days.
The walk to the beach was very pretty and lined with palm trees. We were followed by another manky dog who liked to run out infront of cars.
This is Jason on a quad bike zooming around a race track with several locals.
After seeing locals driving around the track hardly moving he opted for the biggest quad bike as it only cost £5. He chose against a helmet as no one else was driving fast enough to get hurt but quickly regretted the decision when he had the 5 gears explained to him and saw the size of the bike. He started out waving each time he passed me and then got serious and bombed around the track nearly hitting a stray dog and anyone who got in his way.
The back of the track was a series of whoops and jumps so Jason was absolutely flying by the time his 15mins were up.
We took a three hour local bus to the observatory trip in a place called Vicuna. The area is covered in observatorys as the sky is very clear with little or no clouds.
The guide turned out to be more interested in star clusters and how small their telescope was than providing us with good information... ...he didn't seem to inspired by his chosen occupation.
Now cometh the 18 hour bus journey to San Pedro through the northern deserts of Chile via Antofagasta and Calama.