It has been just over a week since I have arrived at Peru for the fourth time and it has been a great trip so far. The flight to arrive to Tacna Peru wasn’t the best as having a waiting time of 12 hours between Lima to Tacna wasn’t the most pleasant time and it was very warm outside to even consider start walking into nowhere. What was different was the customs, in which the past few times I have had a form to fill in and hand in at the airport border but this time we just needed our passport.
I finally arrived to Tacna after 43 hours of travelling feeling disoriented from Harrogate and it was great to see my girlfriend again at the airport and meeting with the family again. It has been great to eat some Peruvian food again some Pollo a la Brasa chicken on my first day of arrival. For the first few days I have been in Tacna I have managed to walk around and get used to the area again. Have a walk through the park with some animal hedges statues. Eating some more Peruvian food such as ceviche and gone to a bar and had some beer, which the bar had a cool vibe to it. The weather in Peru the first few days has been just mildly warm.
On the Saturday I was on site of the family business as they were receiving 6000 baby hens and managed to handle a baby hen for the first time. I worked in the process of receiving them, giving them a sip of water and let them run free in the pen. I spent some time in the fields of the family business saw allot of cats and met the grandparents of my girlfriend. It felt very relaxing been out in the fields which wasn’t far from the sea with a nice view and even got taught to drive for a bit. It has been a good start to my trip back to Peru.
Trip to Chile
So this is a trip within a trip going from Peru to Chile. The main reason is for my girlfriend to celebrate her birthday watching Korn perform in Santiago Chile with myself and her brother Bruno. Firstly we had to take a car across the border and the first thing was to sign out of Peru and then sign into the border of Chile. This was obviously a bit nerving as it been common to travel across the border to perform illegal actions especially for a tourist from across the seas. When I got to the border gate myself and my girlfriend got a small intimidating interview from the border policeman. Which he was asking what I was doing, how long we been together, her name etc. which with him not talking the best English was hard to understand. Thankfully he saw sense and allowed us to pass.
We then got Arica airport which on our way it was a beautiful scenery of the sea. We got to Arica airport and it was so quiet in which I’ve never been in such a quiet disserted airport but it looks like not many planes fly from this Airport. It was a smooth flight to Santiago in which we were getting picked up to go to our apartment that we were spending five nights there. Our driver was a very polite and gave us much advice on where to go, where to eat and be safe. Which been alone in Chile for the first time is what we needed. One of the first things I noticed was the streets seemed allot cleaner but as Gabriela explained that Chile seem to invest more money into facilities and our driver explained that many businesses, streets, roads, facilities are privately owned so much money is invested everywhere. We arrived to the skyscraper apartment and it looked very modern in which it had a gym, washing facilities, swimming pool and could go to the top of the building and see for miles. Our apartment was very nice with an amazing balcony view, an electric blanket and kitchen facilities pretty much for a couple starting off. For our first night we had a relaxing night in after the long travelling we needed it.
Our next day we went exploring some of the city seeing the president’s house, telecommunications tower and using the metro which felt like just been on the London tube as it can get just as busy and everyone trying to fit in. What was noticeable was people seemed kinder to priority seating as many people stood for elderly or people with disabilities, in which you don’t always see in England unfortunately. We went to another part of Santiago to pick up our tickets and had a small but fulfilling meal. One thing I guess felt better was not been surrounded by insects while trying to eat food and didn’t experience any of that throughout the trip. We got back to the apartment in which we ended up feeling an earthquake of magnitude of 6.5 in which it was quite frightening but thankfully the building is built to sustain it as it is common in Chile. The room literally shook quite allot but not feeling that experience before was very different.
The next day we had a trip to the Mall Costanera Center in which was six floors high and had every branded store you could think off and many are in England too. We had some nice steak at a restaurant but was very expensive but very fulfilling, we managed to get some shopping done and had a good day out. The weather has felt very hot but with a cold breeze throughout the trip. One thing I can’t seem to get my head around is the use of Chilean Pesos as paying for a meal can be like 50000 pesos in which went you are use to paying £20 it doesn’t sound right.
On the Wednesday we decided to go to the mountain San Cristobal. Firstly we took the tube to get there and we went past a few universities in which there seem to be many here. It seemed like it was going to be a very hot day so I decided to wear shorts, which you can tell when you’re British when you seem to be the only guy in Santiago wearing shorts. We got the mountain and we paid to go into the cart which took is to the top in which it was absolutely beautiful scenery seeing for miles looked amazing over Santiago. We decided to walk down the mountain in which we were worrying we got lost somewhere so we decided to take the adventure route where we could have been walking into nowhere which was allot of fun especially when you are use to walking and having to attempt to assist the people you are with on going the right way but it was fun. We eventually after taking a couple miss-turns we got to the bottom and decided to go back to the mall to have some food at a fish restaurant which was very nice and may I say cheaper than the day before. We were quite tired after a day of adventure and decided to have a quiet night in especially as the next day was going to be a long and exhausting day and night.
The next day was the day of Gabriela’s birthday as well as the day of the gig. We got up very early this day to ensure that we were stood and ready to be in line for one of the first to get in. We went there for 9am and was surprising to see people already lining up to go inside in which you don’t often see these days in England apart from on the few occasions. You often here that more passion runs through South American fans. So we lined up from 9am to 6pm when people could go inside. Thankfully there were three of us so we could take turns on going for breaks or food. Coincidently enough was that a Peruvian restaurant was across the road from the Caupolican theatre. Which we managed to get some lunch as the line got bigger, but people respectfully allowed us to leave and come back as many others did that. It didn’t help as well that the day was getting hotter and the sun was shining straight into our eyes and some fans trying to push in about 1 hour before. We finally got inside the arena and ran to the front as it was the aim of why we were waiting from 9am. It seemed a very quiet gig as they were still sound checking when we first entered although the first band wasn’t on until 8pm. The arena got busier and the first band Temple Agents came on which did get the crowd moving and were very good and entertaining. The vocalist I noticed had very good stage presence and was very motivating with good sound. They finished about 8:30 and the crowd was getting bigger and more forceful which it became allot warmer. We even saw some people jumping down from the balcony in which the security guard joked saying it’s not his problem it’s going to be all our problem. It got to 9pm and the mighty Korn took to the stage. I have been to many concerts in my life but I have never been really so close to a big arena stage before and I have never felt an experience like that before. As my girlfriend was at the front and I was wanting her to enjoy the night I pretty much became a wall. Putting my arms on the barrier and trying to push and force everyone back from not getting crushed. I had many people holding on to the back of my t-shirt, resting on my neck and even resting their arms on my shoulders. Only bad thing was that there was a real passionate fan next to Gabriella who hit into her a few times but probably didn’t mean to. Funny thing is that while I was getting into the concert myself and getting pushed from left to right I ended up “not intentionally” head-butting the guy. I and a guy next to me were helping in other during the pit helping each other up which was good as he shook my hand afterwards. Korn were very powerful and strong during the night which they played many of their hits and the sound quality was amazing they certainly got the crowd moving and there were some fires started in the centre as well. It was an amazing experience the only problem was the pain and scratches afterwards and had use much of my strength in which I was proud off and the main thing was that Gabriela and Bruno and myself both enjoyed it and was worth the trip.
The next day was our trip back to Peru in which I was worrying thinking I would have the same issues going back. Firstly we checked out of our apartment and was trying to get advice on how to get there. One of the guys from the apartment spoke to us and advised us to get the coach to the airport he also mentioned he had a guy that could take us but to be honest I wouldn’t have trusted that myself. We managed to get the coach and arrive to the airport. While waiting to check in we felt another earthquake which seeing the monitors shake was quite worrying, but nothing seemed to happen. We checked in and what surprised me considering it was an international airport the security didn’t seem too much although we were going through domestic departures. We managed to get some nice reasonable food at the airport for the last time in Chile and Gabriella had a go in one of the massage chairs but after last night I think she needed it. We bordered our flight and had a reasonable flight back to Arica. The only annoying thing was having to a pay for any food and drink we wanted even water.
We got back to Arica and took the transfer bus to the bus and cars station that would take us to Tacna. Our driver didn’t seem to understand though that I flew into Lima and was just taking a small trip to Chile and that checking in at Lima’s border you didn’t get a visa paper. We got to the Chile border and must have had to wait about 1 hour or more to check out of Chile which was no problem at all. We got to the Peruvian Border which was allot quicker, but the issue was Gabriela trying to explain that when I flew in we didn’t get a paper and our driver seemed adamant that I should have had one and saying “we take tourists all the time and are always given a paper” but thought not to argue and just check in which the border officer didn’t have any issue with. She did however ask Gabriela if she was travelling with me but didn’t ask why which I have heard It can become suspicious that. It seemed our driver had an attitude problem either didn’t want to listen or was just his attitude anyway. We got back to the station and I was thankful that there we no issues and we arrived safely. When we arrived we were welcomed back by Christina and Moises (Gabriela and Bruno’s parents) which they were very thankful that they got back safely. We got some more Pollo a la Brasa chicken at a restaurant I recognize from one of my previous trips and was thankful for the food. We had a good catch up and a laugh of all what happened on our trip and felt good to be safely back in Peru.
Pictures to follow.