La Serena

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).

New Jersey Transit has some things to learn from TurBus

New Jersey Transit has some things to learn from TurBus

TusBuses - waiting to head to their destinations, 

TusBuses - waiting to head to their destinations, 

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. 

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A salón cama style seat- premium and expensive. 

The seat reclines, becoming a bed, and you get a blanket and a pillow!  

The seat reclines, becoming a bed, and you get a blanket and a pillow!  

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! 

An ungodly hour at La Serena

An ungodly hour at La Serena

On my way to La Serena- the Moon! 

On my way to La Serena- the Moon! 

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.

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Satchi (the dog and Martin (a 4 month bully :)

Satchi (the dog and Martin (a 4 month bully :)

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.

Arquitectura in La Serena is a mix of colonial and adobe style houses. This is a store that sells everything from books to children's costumes. 

Arquitectura in La Serena is a mix of colonial and adobe style houses. This is a store that sells everything from books to children's costumes. 

Note the albatross on top of the cross :) 

Note the albatross on top of the cross :) 

In the distance you can see el Faro de La Serena  - the Lighthouse.

In the distance you can see el Faro de La Serena  - the Lighthouse.

I noticed that La Serena has a lot of flowers: roses, hibiscus, and others I couldn't recognize.

I noticed that La Serena has a lot of flowers: roses, hibiscus, and others I couldn't recognize.

The Japanese Garden, a definite must- see! 

The Japanese Garden, a definite must- see! 

Just like Santiago, la Serena has tons of Graffitti - some of it quite loaded... 

Just like Santiago, la Serena has tons of Graffitti - some of it quite loaded... 

A bustling downtown

A bustling downtown

What a wonderful, deep message! 

What a wonderful, deep message! 

The landlady served breakfast outside today because I mentioned to her yesterday how much I loved her garden. 

The landlady served breakfast outside today because I mentioned to her yesterday how much I loved her garden. 

Mom and kids in Japanese Garden. 

Mom and kids in Japanese Garden. 

Japanese garden- a place of beauty and tranquillity.

Japanese garden- a place of beauty and tranquillity.

Valle Elqui is a cradle of the indigenous civilization called "Diaguita". Diaguitas later mixed with Incas.

Valle Elqui is a cradle of the indigenous civilization called "Diaguita". Diaguitas later mixed with Incas.

Treated myself :) Not gonna eat until the rest of the day! 

Treated myself :) Not gonna eat until the rest of the day! 

A Bonsai tree

A Bonsai tree

La Serena streets  

La Serena streets  

This is a great idea!  To celebrate International Women's Day, the regional museum invited women to write about themselves in 150 words or less. Thats pretty much it for La Serena. I am glad I stayed tow full days - I could visit places without rushing, take my time conversing with people, and simply observe the daily life. 

This is a great idea!  To celebrate International Women's Day, the regional museum invited women to write about themselves in 150 words or less.

Thats pretty much it for La Serena. I am glad I stayed tow full days - I could visit places without rushing, take my time conversing with people, and simply observe the daily life.