December 19, 2003

Arica, Chile

I travelled all night from Arequipa and crossed the border into Chile this morning. The next couple of days will be more of the same. Travel gets tough over the next few days when an entire continent, at once on Christmas and summer vacation, tries to travel to spend the holidays with family.

Perú was a fascinating country. It has a cultural heritage unlike any I've ever seen, stunning landscapes, endless opportunity for adventure, and fantastic food. Perhaps a victim of its own success, I'm sorry to say that things didn't get any better with the rip-off situation. About the best thing I can say about the scam artists is they are consistent. My problems in Perú began the minute I set foot in the country with money changers using fixed calculators and counterfeit money (even the coins there are counterfeit!), and held strong right up to the last minute with a customs agent trying to levy twice the departure tax posted right behind her, and a local trying to get me to carry a "Christmas gift" over the border to Chile.

I did, of course, meet many wonderful people in Perú. Just not nearly enough of them to balance out the idiots. Perú has too many wonderful things going for it to skip it on account of the people - just watch your back if you go.

If the rest of Chile is anything like Arica, it will be a welcome change. Just 22km under the border, the abrupt difference between the Latin America I've just come through is stunning. Gone is the traffic congestion and choking fumes (I even saw a cop pull someone over for a traffic violation!), the street markets, the constant harassment by street vendors and beggars, the noise, the .... I miss it already!

I'm hopping an overnight bus down to Antofagasta tonight and will hang out there a few days until heading to La Serena to spend Christmas.

Posted by dhuska at December 19, 2003 11:44 AM

Hi Dave,

This is all amazing. I commend you for taking a big leap by stopping work and just picking up and leaving. It's great to hear all the trekking you've been doing.

Hope all is well and you had a wonderful holiday. Things are pretty much the same here...lots of work.

Can I ask a question though??? Did you design your web-log page? I've been wanting to keep an online journal for my foray into fashion. Hopefully one day I can sell my rights and have a reality fashion tv show.

Have a great New Years. We're having another gay one. Haha.


Posted by: Arnette at December 28, 2003 12:32 AM

ehem! ehem!... cough... cough...

arica is still peru!!!


Posted by: mccm at December 31, 2003 12:27 AM

Hi Arnette!

Glad to have ya along. The blog is all handled by Moveable Type (, and the images are handled by Gallery ( You'll need both (or something similar) installed by your provider. Drop me a line if you have any questions. Good luck!

Posted by: dhuska at January 2, 2004 08:58 AM

Re: Arica

Uh no. You got Tacna back, Chile kept Arica :)(

Posted by: dhuska at January 2, 2004 09:02 AM