Mat's day off

Sun, 06 Apr 2008 18:40:57 +0000

A Rant Index Crossing the Desert

It can't be an action-packed day of adventure and excitement every day.

Somehow when I looked into Arica, I got the impression that it was a sleepy little fishing village with some nice beaches. But then I didn't really expect that, since a place like that wouldn't show up on the map. Nevertheless, I expected a beach, at least, and today I was determined to find one.

Well, that didn't take long. But it would have to be the ugliest beach I've ever come across, and I've been to Brighton.

The rusting trawler hulks in dry dock are the clearest trace of my "sleepy little fishing village" in evidence. Not that I'm disappointed. I don't really do beaches anyway. In fact, as I squatted down to photograph a tiny crab, it was quite a peaceful moment with the waves washing in.

But instead, I went and sat in the park for a bit. It's just a park, but I'm certainly in a not-doing-much mood today.

Eventually I gathered together my wits sufficiently to go postcard-hunting. I actually printed off a photograph from the camera to use as an ersatz postcard, before discovering that there is a secret stash of postcard sellers down by the post office. Cunning!

I also managed lunch, of cheesecake and coffee. I intended to eat something more sensible, but the cheesecake kinda overwhelmed me. The coffee came in a big mug and was piping hot. It's so refreshing to visit a place where the coke is served cold and the coffee is sold hot. Once you get above a latitude of 40 degrees or so people seem to lose this skill.

Apart from that, however, I am ashamed to report that mostly what I achieved today was watch too much of season 2 of The Wire. That's going to be a holiday-wrecker of a show, I can tell. Maybe it's a pity that my hard disk turned out not to be dead after all.

Tomorrow I return to La Paz, and thus begins a scramble to retrace my steps across South America in time to catch my plane to Toronto on the 13th. I was prepared to simply fly back to Sao Paulo, but Bolivian airlines appears to have rather unhelpfully shut itself down. So it's another interminable series of bus journeys ahead, through territory I've already covered. Hey, at least there will be cake.

A Rant Index Crossing the Desert