[Atacama VII] December 6, 2011: Back to Valpo

In the frosty morning, I packed up the last of my things, left my key in the door of my room, and prepared to leave San Pedro (perhaps forever). I spent a few moments basking in the desert morning light, waiting for my airport van.

There had been active roadwork in San Pedro: they dug a 5' pit in the middle of the dirt road to lay in wires, then filled it back in, all on the same day. Disculpe las molestias!

Morning light. Also, birds hangin' out in the road.

Incidentally, the hostel where I was staying was La Rose d’Atacama. Simple, but exceedingly pleasant. If I do ever end up San Pedro-ways again, I would gladly spend more time there.

Goodbye, hostel!

The van grabbed me shortly thereafter, and I arrived early to the Calama airport (rejoicing again at its speed and smallness). The flight was uneventful; a much less crowded flight than the one I had arrived on, so I got the whole row to myself.

Goodbye, desert!

At the Santiago airport, I grabbed my bag, caught a bus to Pajaritos terminal, and almost immediately jumped on a bus to Valparaíso. This whole convoluted process was a thousand times less intimidating since I’d already completed it once before, when I first arrived.

On the bus to Valpo, I finished the novel I’ve been slowly chipping away at for weeks: Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible. A fascinating, dark, and engaging book that I would indubitably recommend.

V. had written down the number and location of the microbus that would take me to our door. Once I arrived in Valpo, I located the appropriate corner, and waited for fifteen minutes, gradually starting to worry that I had the wrong location. When one finally did come by, I sighed with relief and flagged it down. The driver duly ignored me, along with several schoolchildren who had also tried to board. Blast. After another fifteen minutes, a second one passed by, which thankfully did stop for us this time. I climbed on and seated myself near the back, all the while performing astounding acrobatics with my large backpack and small suitcase. I leaped off the bus right near my front door.

V. greeted me with a warm hug, and we chatted about my trip. I had an incredible time in the desert (desierto de mi alma), but it’s also very nice to be back at my Chilean home. Here, I have the added luxury of not having to walk outdoors through a chill desert night just to use the restroom!

4 thoughts on “[Atacama VII] December 6, 2011: Back to Valpo

    1. It’s a SOUL, you silly gal. My next plan is to go to Mendoza de Argentina. It’s in Argentina. You may have heard of it.

  1. You have a “Chilean home”, Molly! And look at you, not just getting by but functioning in that Chilean home!

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