5-12-2019 Copiapó, Chile
Copiapó is a dusty and largely skippable town. We had scheduled four days here thinking the city would have more to offer than it did. Most of the tours were extremely expensive and the museums closed.
We found that they local discoteca was inconveniently close to our hostel room window and the window was the only source of cool air. Sounds of late-night car alarms and drunken arguments regaled us for our four nights there.
We started booking our next leg immediately. Over dinner and beer at the hostel, we enjoyed chatting with our hosts. They were nice folks that tended to have workers stay at their hostel more than tourists.
6-12-2019 We took a local bus to Caldera and then a taxi to Bahia Inglesa. Caldera is a fishing town with a fish market on the pier and a museum at the head of the pier. The museum was closed when we were there, but the pier was hopping with the smell of fish, fishermen, and all of the wildlife that sought to get an easy meal.
After a quick ride to Bahia Inglesa we walked the more touristy beach and had lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, we wondered the town before reversed our route and returned to our noisy hostel.
7-12-2019 Deciding to get a little exercise, we decided to hike the nearby high point of Cerro de la Cruz. We found a well-maintained trail to the cross on the summit and the remains of a radio(?) station. A few locals were videoing something at the cross. We hiked along the ridgeline for a mile or so to check out what there was to see. It turns out, not much. Lots of extremely dry hills and a few wondering trails.
After the hike we found a nice restaurant called Juljardan.
8-12-2019 It was our last day in Copiapó. We left our bags with most of our stuff with the hostel and roamed the town. I had purchased dog treats and had been enjoying handing them out until a guy aggressively pan-handled me. We also had trash thrown at us twice! The first was a trying to get us to buy him lunch and a water bottle. The second was pretty obviously high and repeatedly licking his fingers and until he decided to be mad at us and throw an apple at us. As late evening rolled around, we picked up our stuff and went to the bus station. We caught the overnight bus to Calama, Chile. It was good to get out of Copiapó and on our way to San Pedro de Atacama.