Sea lions watch. We fly by with smiles.

La Serena Travel Blog

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The grocery store is a great place to learn some Spanish.
This morning on our way to the airport, our cab driver stopped at Lidor, a "super mercado," for provisions. (Think Target Greatland: food and more). Lisa and I are fascinated by foreign grocery stores, so we poked around, took pictures, and picked out picnic supplies:  Lots of bread, cheese, olives, artichoke bottoms, pudding. It was a good Spanish lesson, and we learned the correct word for everything we bought, and then some.

It was Lisa's turn to fly today. We flew along the coast again, and couple times Jaime took control and flew amazingly low (200 feet!) while zigzagging around the cliffs. Spectacular! We kept our eyes peeled for penguins (no luck) and sea lions (SCORE!). It was a great flight. Then Lisa got to do another challenging landing, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
Flying low over the beach, North of La Serena, Chile.
The gravel strip was close to the beach (no town in sight), and there was a VERY strong wind right down the runway. We were met by two ladies bearing gifts - a very sweet, homemade wine, with little terra cotta shot glasses. Jaime had arranged for them to meet us there with a vehicle and we were given the option of going to Playa Blanca nearby, or driving 45 minutes to some crappy town. Ummm... we'll take the beach, please. Thank you.

We hopped in the ladies' red truck and drove 30 minutes to Playa Blanca (when we got there we discovered Leo had forgotten some of the food and had to go back. Poor Leo! This is typical I am afraid.) While we waited Lisa slammed sweet wine, but there was none of that business for the pilots, me and Jaime. She reported it to be DELICIOUS.
Sea lions bask and watch the crazy humans fly by.
It was gorgeous out, and the beach was amazing. Some people even thought it was nice enough to swim, and we watched them incredulously. It was just not THAT nice out.

We finally got our sandwiches, which we shared with our hostesses. Leo spilled a good measure of the prized wine, of course. He was having a bad day! After lunch and just a little bit of lounging Lisa and I went on a beach walk. The beach was rugged, windswept, and completely undeveloped. We happened upon a ramshackle house, which looked like it had been built of scraps washed up from the ocean. Someone lived there! She was all bundled up in rags and seemed overly interested in our activities. We hadn't encounted this type of poverty yet in Chile, which seems more in line economically with the US and Europe, as opposed to some of the impoverished S. American countires I have visited in the past (Peru, Bolivia). We tried not to stare.

Finally, back to the airport, and my turn to fly again! I took my cue from Jaime (maybe not wise considering our differing experience levels -- but oh well!)  and "hugged" the cliffs and flew at 300 feet, with lots of banks. Exhilaration, jubilation! It was awesome. Lisa saw sea lions, and I circled twice, but I just couldn't spot them. The beaches and cliffs were fine scenery though, and I could have kept going all day. With the price of aviation fuel in Chile, that would NOT be wise though!
oldschoolbill says:
Very very cool, thanks
Posted on: Mar 01, 2008
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The grocery store is a great place…
The grocery store is a great plac…
Flying low over the beach, North o…
Flying low over the beach, North …
Sea lions bask and watch the crazy…
Sea lions bask and watch the craz…
At least its right down the runwa…
At least it's right down the runw…
Prepping for a picnic on the beach.
Prepping for a picnic on the beach.
Playa Blanca, north of La Serena.
Playa Blanca, north of La Serena.
Lounging at Playa Blanca, north of…
Lounging at Playa Blanca, north o…
Beach House.
"Beach House."
La Serena
photo by: wendermilliken