|The trip between Arequipa, Peru and Arica, Chile was beautiful. I don't know if I have ever taken so much pleasure in such utter desolation before. There is literally zero plant life to be seen apart from in the occasional mountain valley, which oddly enough is teeming with lush tropical life. Perhaps it is due to the watershed.
We saw vultures/condors hovering motionless in the desert sky. They just sort of hang in the sky catching lofts off the upward moving hot air from the desert sand. Its sort of cool to watch... although I cannot say what they are watching from up there as there is no life to be seen apart from perhaps the occasional rock lizard.
I should thank Jay Ingram and the team at the discover channel for providing us with fantastic Mars rover photos because those are more or less the closest things I have seen to describing the alien like terrain here.
The mountains are very rocky and craggy with hues of red from iron and swirls of white throughout the mountainside from the prehistoric oceans that use to cover the land here. With the hazy snow capped Andes in the backdrop it makes for quite the impressive sunset on during the 5 hour bus ride to the Chilean border.
We spent the last day sort of stomping around town and hanging on the beach. Not to much to report in the ways of incredulous life experiences.
As for Chile, first impressions are as follows. It is far more wealthy, slightly more expensive (not a whole lot cheaper then Canada actually), much cleaner, less a hassle as the locals let you do as you please, and on average, the women here are slightly hotter. Sorry Peru. You are facing some tough competition over here. Generally speaking it appears much more livable and a fair bit safer. But time will tell this is only a first impression.
Hope all is well. Take care everyone.