7.07.2019 – Going back to La Serena

Anders is writing:
We get to sleep in a bit this morning. It’s Sunday and breakfast is served from 8.00 at our hotel. We’re in no hurry. Juris even has time for a second breakfast. Today’s mission is getting to La Serena, about 350 km away. Back on Ruta 5 Imants is driving, Dora is reading, Agnese is calculating everyone’s expenses. I’m watching the arid landscape pass by. Imants notifies us that we now have driven 6000 kilometers. For most of that distance we have been listening to Chilean radio stations. For the moment the radio is playing classic rock/metal music, which is a nice change. In general, if you’ve had enough of Latin songs or dance music, listening to Chilean radio is often like being transported 25-30 years back in time. All the songs I listened to back then, and thought I had forgotten, are played. There’s lot’s of 80’s classics. There’s 90’s music I had hoped to never hear again. There’s a Seal medley. Rick Astley comes on followed by Chesney Hawkins and Sabrina.

We stop for gas and banos. When I get back to the car the others say they considered driving off, leaving me. It’s the usual story. They haven’t done so, yet. We go past the turnoffs to La Silla observatory and Choros valley, where we have been just a few days ago.

In La Serena we park the cars at the supermarket and go for shopping in the town center. Most of the stores are closed but there is a Sunday market along a small road, by the highway. You can buy almost everything, from toys and clothes to old tape recorders. It’s a nice walk but nobody buys anything. Instead we go once again to Recova market to look for postcards and souvenirs. It’s a lot more quiet than the last time, the day before the eclipse. Now most tourists have gone. We take the opportunity to give Agnese a present, a purse filled with some souvenirs and money.

We’re staying for the night in an apartment, the third one in La Serena. Dinner is prepared, while I catch the second half of the Copa America final on TV. Brazil beats Peru 3 goals to 1. After dinner and dessert most people retreat to their rooms, some go to sleep early.

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