For the past two days I have been working in La Serena, a small coastal town- a 6 hour drive from Santiago. I had a few leads here so decided to take a trip. La Serena is a gateway to a place called Valle del Elqui, a mystic valley with arid mountains, indigenous culture, and booming astrological tourism industry (yes the skies are very clear).
There is a really comfortable bus - "TurBus" that runs direct to La Serena from Santiago. My ticket was a premium seat (meaning it reclined 180 degrees, had pillow, blanket and other amenities) -11,000 CLP or around $16. The ride is about 6 hours and the seats are tremendously comfortable and safe.
A salón cama style seat- premium and expensive.
As you can see, traveling long distance by bus is awesome: cost efficient, safe, and fast.
I arrived to La Serena at 5:20 am and had to hang out in the terminal for a while since the town was ghostly!
At 8 am my AirBnB opened and I went there. This house is owned by the nicest people: a retired couple, both former teachers. In addition to comfortable lodging, they spent time with me discussing problems in education, world politics, and animal rights. Yesterday we had a very stimulating conversation about public va private schools in Chile.
I am making my way to Vicuña tonight to do an Astro-tour. But for my two full days in La Serena I experienced many wonderful things and saw an abundance of places. Below are some highlights.