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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Antofagasta, Chile

Oct 4, 2011 - Day 16 - Another trip to the desert + underground mine tour

Cool weather in Antofagasta and hot dry sun in the desert. Another long day. A 2 hour bus ride to the south of Antofagasta through the desert followed by a another 2 hour return ride. Did an underground mine tour of the El Penon Au-Ag mine. Tight security at the mine. Had to do a full body metal scan and all my stuff x-rayed on the way out of the mine. Felt just like going through an airport security system

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Oct 3, 2011 - Day 15 Visit to an an Xstrata mine

Visit to Xstrata Copper's Lomas Bayas mine located to the east of the city of Antofagasta. The mine is big to Canadian standards. Got to see a blast. Drive to the mine brought us over the coastal range and through the central plateau. Very sunny and dry, very much a desert atmosphere. Nothing grows here. Not even a cactus.

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Oct 2, 2011 - Day 14 Trip to La Portada and boat cruise

Today we ventured out to see the La Portada arch, a natural monument located about 20 km to the north of Antofagasta. Got to see the desert type terrain in this area. The arch is 43 m high and 70 m (230 ft) long. It has a base of black andesite stone, around which are arranged marine sedimentary rocks, a stratum of yellowing sandstone, and layers of the remaining fossils of shells. All this was formed during a long process of marine erosion. Finding a bus to take us out to La Fortada was hard enough as the one we took left us on the side...

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Oct 1, 2011 - Day 13 Now those sea lions and pelicans

Today we tried to experienced the local culture and set off on the local community bus across town. Now these buses are a little old and ratty, but the good thing is that they only cost 400 pesos ($0.80) per person. There are not a lot of defined bus stops so you just try to find a bus number going in your general direction and flag him down. And in the evening just hope you remember the bus route back. Well the bus dropped us off at the by the fish market. You could smell you were approaching it before even setting foot in it. Didn't buy...

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Sep 30, 2011 - Day12 - Moved to a different part of Antofagasta

Today we moved around and changed hotels, but still staying in Antofagasta for a few more days. Will miss the life of the spa and casino and have to put up with screaming sea gulls. But will have a nice ocean view from the room and nice city view from the back of the hotel. Walked along the sea shore again today. Included a couple of pictures cormorants and pelicans against a nice surf. There were a couple of fisherman with small traditional fishing boats fishing just beyond the breaks. Further down we saw about a dozen surfers enjoying...

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Sep 29, 2011 - Day 11 - Antofagasta. Win big at the Casino but not enought to stay in Chile

Did the walking tour around the silver smelter today. Not sure why silver, the rocks around the museum look more like copper type ore by the pretty blue and green colours. If you like eating late, Chile will be your dream place. Most restaurants don't open till 8:00PM. Might as well eat when you are really hungry. Had to kill time so we went to the Casino. The trick is knowing when to walk away. We hit a couple of good streaks. OK not enough to stay in Chile but enough for supper tonight, tomorrow and the next night. Conference is...

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Sep 28, 2011 - Day 10 Woke to the sound of soldiers

Today we woke to the sound of Chilean soldiers doing their morning run and chant as they ran past the hotel. The army base is just out back from our hotel room, Always nice when you can see 2-3 tanks from your hotel room. If they start moving we know there is going to be a change in the government. Walked along the streets and saw a Moai statue (yeah its a small one). Similar to the ones they have on Easter Island just off continental Chile. We are not going to make it to Easter Island over our holidays, so it is the best we are going to...

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Sep 27, 2011 - Day 9 - Walk along the Boardwalk next to the ocean

Took an evening walk along the ocean boardwalk the stretches for several kilometres to the south of town. Saw a mural made up of numerous types of seashells. A variety of birds can be seen along the shoreline including gulls, cormorants and pelicans. Passed by the Huanchaca Ruins which are the remains of one of the oldest silver foundries of the country. This particular site located in Antofagasta was closed in 1912.

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Sep 26, 2011 - Day 9 - Antofagasta - near hotel

Went for a long walk along the beach near the hotel. Nice little church with a Spanish theme. Huge crashing waves. A bit of everything from rocky shores to beaches. Tried to order a coffee at McDonald's today, but got an orange juice instead. We went to a Chilean version of YIG. they sold furniture, clothes, groceries and wine for two bucks a bottle. Took a community taxi to the downtown section tonight. This type of taxi has a defined route, you flag him down, jump in, pay him some small amount of money and get off later on the route....

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Sep 24, 2011 - Day 7 - Flew from Santiago to Antofagasta

Said goodby to Santiago. Must say the people in Santiago are very polite and helpful. Today we flew from Santiago, north along the Chilean coast to Antofagasta. The view from the plane was amazing as we could see the immense size of the snow covered Andes. Chilean airliners are different from those in Canada. They hand out free beer like pop, give designer cookies rather than pretzels. When we landed in Antofagasta, it was another cultural shock. The area is more desert like. You have to look hard to find a blade of grass. Lots of sand and...

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May 12, 2011 - Money, sandboarding and the end to luxury accomodation

I have spent this morning wondering around San Pedro by myself as the rest of the group have gone to float in a lake, which for $50 US I thought was a bit over priced. I have spent about an hour going between money exchange houses looking for the best exchange rate, however none has quite tickled my fancy. Everything here, including the exchange rate, is overpriced as it is the last place to buy anything before the desert crossing. Thus, I have decided only to change a minimal amount of money and live on practically nothing until I emerge...

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May 11, 2011 - San Pedro de Atacama

After enduring an eighteen hour bus journey up north, we finally arrived in San Pedro de Atacama, a small town on the edge of the Atacama desert. I have never been to anything quite like it, everything is covered with sand and one could be mistaken for being in the Wild Wild West. It is very hot here and I was finally be able to whip out the shorts and sunglasses :) I went on an excellent excursion today to the Valley of the Moon. The valley is famous for its many varieties of rock formation, its dry saline lakes and for being one of the...

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