Day 3 From Worse to worser
La Serena Travel Blog› entry 3 of 27 › view all entries
The word worser, now exists, after a fruitless and futile search of the internet for accomodation in La Serena I tried ringing some hostels only to realise that I had´t really learnt much more than how to order two beers and ask politely for the bill during 10 weeks of Spanish lessons.
Anyway something would turn up at the other end, so down to the bus terminal, bus to La Serena, confirmed with baggage man on bus and we are off half hour early. I was impressed with the large legroom not worried someone was in my seat, number 21, there was a spare at the back and off we go. The ticket man come luggage clerk looks at my ticket and doesn´t look worried, well not worried for 20 minutes until he investiagtes the person in seat 21.
Nothing happens as we arrive at a toll booth and i think "i wouldn´t like to be dropped off here" so i am relieved as we pass through, only for the bus to abruptly stop 50 yards passed and me and my luggage are ejected, i´m given my ticket back and told to wave it at the nect lubac (bus company) bus that passes lots of pats on back from the luggage man and they are off.
Twenty five minutes later i wave tickets at the bus and the bus stops, i now have a reclining seat, air conditioning and the new luggage ticket man offers me tea. So i was turfed off because i was slumming it, and had paid for better class bus how good is that, i´m sure in england they wouldn´t of cared.
I´m offered more tea for breakfast slightly alarming as it´s only 4pm and the journey is meant to be 6 hours. But nothing to worry about at least the fiasco took my mind off the fact i have no accomodation and the various conversations makes me realise that if i could only get a GCSE level 5 in French after 7 years study it´s unlikely i´ll master spanish in two days.
We arrive at La Seren via Coquimbo who to celebrate the millenium placed an 240 foot cross on top of the hillside. I never thought I´d be thankful for the millenium dome but it must be a better choice.
So with no accomodation i enter the bus station and see a lone person has a hostal sign, yes I´ll take the room, her brother directs me to his car a cherry red VW Beatle with less working parts than the one owned by Paul Gray. but a better colour. . The driver Thomas when discovering i´m from London says ELO ELO. Not the first assocaiation I would think of. The beatle works enough to get me to the hostal where a whole family great me and in the mist someone can speak english. Anyway the day ends fine as I´m offered a thermos of tea!! They know how to make a traveller happy these people from La Serena !!!
Ricardo Crispio -- Any country that has onces (elevenes) on it´s memus must be considered the finest of travel destinations.
La Serena, a short walk into town from my hostel don carlos, and I fnd an excellent coffee shop selling large omellettes and tea. The town has a beautiful square the plaza de Armas. Complete with fountain, trees from around the world, shady benches, very relaxing.
All facilities are here internet cafe, cheap phone cafe, lovely pavement cafes, post office and tour agencies to the local attractions.
I take an after beer (escudo chilian beer) stroll to down a wide avenue to the beach. In the distance is what a lighthouse my guide book informs me there is a pub in it. happy Days.
The lighthouse still exists, the pub long gone, but around it are mock battlements and turrets, I am half expecting to be given an oversized golf club and a two foot large golf ball and asked to hit the ball up the ramp and down the other side. If anything belonged on a crazy golf course this does.
A short walk along the sandy beach which stretches miles around the bay I stop for a beer and a delicious dish of salmon, with tomato and cheese topping. Lookig out across the Pacific with the beach the massive cross on the hill to my right the andes to the left. It's a lovely view save for the lighthouse and it's mock fortifications.
Those ridiculing my spanish will be shocked to know that i dispensed with the english language version of the menu and chose from the spanish version. Anyone suggesting that the only word i understood was salmon is far from correct, i identifed prawns as well on the menu !!
A walk back to town and i book a trip tomorrow at the ever so helpful elquitours on the square.
The town is lively in the evening, with familes strolling around the square and shoppers still buying late on.
It's a good place to chill out for a day after the hustle and bustle of larger towns. Felt very safe and everyone was helful.