We went on a search for vineyards that we heard about- but ended up meeting some new friends on the way.
We drove about 4 hours to the middle of the desert from Iqueque to a little charming town called Pica
. Probably one of the funniest days we had while in CHile. One thing I learned that day- don't believe everything you read in travel books. We decided to drive the 4 hours to Pica, because our book described it as a beautiful desert oasis. It specifically spoke of a beautiful, naturally heated rock pool, with beautiful waterfalls and dark rock caves. At this point, we're imagining paradise in the middle of the desert- where else would you want to be in the middle of summer? So we arrive to, what looks like a big tourist trap, but with local Chileans instead of tourists. This "pool" is, what looks like, a man made pool with about 200 Chileans swimming in it.
Children in Pica
It is packed with swimmers, so much so, that you could barely swim or stand without getting bumped into. The waterfall that the book speaks of, is, true in fact a waterfall, but is about a foot high! What we imagined as a desert paradise, was anything but. Our initial reaction was sheer frustration and disbelief that we drove 4 hours "to arrive to THIS?!". After that wore off, all we did was laugh our asses off. It was pretty funny. After swimming with the locals and sunning ourselves for a bit, we decide to take up another suggestion of our travel book. JESUS! That fucking travel book! We read about these wine vineyards about the small town. So, reading about this and getting hyped up, we decide we're very thirsty for a good glass of red and start our mission to find these vineyards.
Our new friends teaching us how to dance
We somewhat get lost but find a little store to ask for directions. We ask the owner of the store where these vineyards are and he looks at us like we're crazy...had no idea what we were talking about. By this point- we're skeptical. Then we come across a group of guys our age and ask them where the vineyards are. The go on to tell us that the vineyards dried up, like, 10 years ago!!!!!!!!!! Couldn't do anything else but laugh again. It turns out that these boys ran a historical site in the town and decide to show us around. They befriend us. They kept telling us that we were the most beautiful girls that had ever visited their small little town. So funny!They teach us to dance their native dance. We take pictures, and they offer us a little gift. I wish I had something to give them also. Although our day trip to Pica was completely inaccurate going off the advice of that fucking travel book, it was an unforgettable day!