That moment did not disappoint: when the bus turned the corner and I spotted the shore in the distance, the high-rise white buildings shining in the distance and to top it all off, a paraglider flew above us just as the bus started the descent towards Iquique.
…and our 3-day beach break officially began. We had escaped Arequipa over the “Fiestas Patrias” weekend (the national holiday celebrating Peru’s independence), and I have to say I was so excited to tick a new city off my list. Visiting new, far-flung cities and countries every single year is a non-negotiable aspect of my life, and while for the moment the frequency of my world exploration is a little slow, I’m hoping for it to pick up again as soon as I’ve got more work experience and savings under my belt. But for now, back to Iquique and the dizzying drop between the sand dunes and the city down below!
We made our way downtown and discovered our accommodation really was right by the ocean (those reviews ain’t lying!) and I think I really was the happiest girl alive in that moment, you know, that moment when you excitedly burst into a fresh, clean hotel room, throw your bags on the bed and then proceed to throw yourself on there too, just to test the mattress, and for dramatic effect of course.
I could not stand still, or even lie still, I was too excited to feel my toes in the sand again.
Just a few meters down the street from our accommodation was this view. And then I was the girl who ran excitedly across the street and started jumping up and down on the sand, probably providing both amusement and bemusement to the Chileans rollerskating down the promenade.
These first few photos were taken quickly with my phone, as my DSLR hadn’t yet made its way out of my bag (I think it was still recovering from the journey!)
What really stood out to me about the ocean front in Iquique was how much it reminded me of beaches like Barcelona, where you can walk, cycle or skate along the coast for hours thanks to the smooth walkway. I don’t think southern Peru has any of those walkways (the beaches tend to be a little more… wild, let’s say!) and I was so excited to explore the length of it!
I tried to contain my snap-happiness on the first afternoon/night, and only really enjoy Lucio’s company (though I couldn’t resist a few snaps of our night-time walk).
The next day, however, was a whole other story. I truly put my camera to work, and just in case it wasn’t obvious enough, I was rather excited to run around on the beach and make a slight fool of myself (all in a day’s work).
Exhausted from running around on the beach, the sun continued to set over Iquique and we decided to walk a little further along the ocean front.
Sandy feet and sore legs from walking: a happy Emilie.
Up next: our experience at the Humberstone ghost town and visiting the replica of the Esmeralda ship!