November 30, 2005
Today I took a bus to Iquique, which is about four hours by bus south of Arica on the coast. After doing some asking around at the bus station, I was able to find a great hostel that lots of backpackers stay at. This was a good change of pace for me because for the last two weeks or so, I've been in places with very few tourists, so I haven't met many people.
Iquique is a lot like Arica only bigger and even more laid-back. People here seem to sleep and surf all day and party all night. There area even a couple of guys here who started in Las Angeles eight months ago and have been surfing down the coast ever since. Everyone walks around in sandals and board shorts. I haven't worn shorts since I left, and I have barely worn my sandals other than when taking a shower. The hostel is about a block from the beach, a great location right in the middle of a beautiful city.
Tonight, some people at the hostel cooked a barbecue. We had steaks, sausages, potato salad, and lots of red wine. It was probably the best meal I have had on my trip. Everyone was in a very festive mood afterwards, so we hit a few places on the town. The only thing this hostel doesn't offer is a quiet place to sleep. Still, it's good to take some time off from the nonstop cultural experiences and just flat out have a good time every now and then.