After saying "see ya later" to Ilo and the menacing waves we found there; we travelled to Arica, Chile. Our main goal in this area was to see the two famous waves called El Gringo and El Buey breaking. Unfortunately we had timed our travels here without much if any swell. To make up for this loss, we discovered cheap but divine wine, which had been lacking on our journey so far. We also discovered that Chili wasn't full of motos revving around with regaton rattling the windows as they passed. Instead we discovered decent live music we could jive to.
With Christmas just three weeks away; the pressure of escaping to somewhere much cheaper and quieter was growing into a reality. Feeling sad to miss El Gringo, we jumped aboard a bus for Iquique, which we were told was a city with a great surfing vibe to it. On our bus ride from Arica to Iquique we drove past a nine span centre pivot irrigator in the middle of the Atacama Desert. This is a strange site to see in one of the driest deserts in the world. On arriving in Iquique we found a hostel and some more of that cheap and divine wine and relaxed in front of the sunset.
We had been in contact with Jake and Claire. They are in Santiago, only twenty five hours by bus away. With the decision of breaking up the journey to see Jake and Claire into smaller legs or hauling it twenty five hours in the one go. We held our faith in a coin that it would choose the correct decision for us. The lady selling us the tickets jaw nearly broke the counter when the coin held us by our hand and said we must travel straight to Santiago in one go.
Feeling fresh as a daisy and landing in a very hot Santiago, we found where Jake and Claire were hiding. The first night with our amigos we found some live music, something we had been missing and it was death metal!
Arriving fresh as a daisy in Lima; we found the streets in Miraflores the touristy area of Lima to be cordoned off. With no taxis being able to drop us close to our final destination we lugged our bags to our hostel. Feeling the buzz in Lima, it was time for a beer. Little did I know that this beer was the start of an all and mighty 1 week bender in Lima.
Bronnie had signed up for 1 week worth of Español lessons while staying at a house full of other students. This left Tas and me to our own adventures. During this time Tas was able to buy a surfboard for himself, which was the main reason he had travelled back to Lima and Bronnie was able to buy the same model just scaled down a bit. Tas managed to escape after a few nights in. Then Triff turned up and the bender continued. Feeling the weight of very little sleep, plenty of intoxication and numb body parts. It was time to have a quiet one and watch a movie at the cinemas. This didn't go to plan, when Bronnie turned up and said. "I have finished my week of Español so lets go out and celebrate!" I looked at Triff.. "Oh ohh.."
A fun place to spend time bending but quite a trap. Lucky the door opened and we found ourselves in Punta Hermosa. This is where we caught up with Seb. We finally surfed a right hander called Punta Rocas, apart from the rubbery smell in the water and the weird polluted froth. This was a fun wave with a good take off. Wanting to move on from the polluted water, we moved on to Cerro Azul hoping for an epic left handed point break. Unfortunately the swell was hidden from this location. Off to Huacachina we all headed, Seb, Triff, Bronnie and I. Triff had been eyeing this off for a while and it looked like a great relaxed party town surrounding an oasis. We were right thinking it was a party town but full of trash. The oasis appeared to be an effluent pond or a mozzie breading ground that we were all too scared to go near for the fear of catching cholera.