Saturday, August 8, 2015

8/7-8/15: Resting in Antofagasta and italki

Since there is nothing else to do in the city except visit La Portada (a rock arch in the ocean, but with no public transportation and about 30 minutes away by car from the city), I ended up doing very little on Friday. I stayed in most of the day - it's a lot easier to justify this when living in an apartment than when paying for a hostel - and only went out at night to get food for dinner. It was nice though - I hadn't had one of those days since I missed my tours in San Pedro de Atacama, and I know I won't have days like those when Dad gets here. I used the time to study a lot of Spanish and catch up on some other work that I haven't done in a while.

I woke up on Saturday planning on spending the morning in the apartment and the afternoon at La Portada, which was working out pretty well. I read on Lonely Planet that apparently you can take a micro most of the way there and walk just 3 km (maybe 45 minutes) towards the site. I wanted to stop by the tourist information office and make sure, but when I got there it was already closed (I was late by about 20 minutes, apparently). I chickened out a little and tried to go into a hostel and ask, but they told me that I would have to take a taxi - there was no other way. The site is just too far. It was already pretty late by then, so I just gave up and walked towards the beach. I actually was able to stop by a little fish/food market, filled with stalls of all kinds of fresh fish and food stalls. I bought an empanada because I was hungry, and it turned out to be miles better than the sad one I had on my Salar de Tara tour in San Pedro de Atacama. It was fresh, fried, and nice and tasty.

On my way back, I stopped at a grocery store. I feel like the one here has more variety than the ones I went to in Bolivia (which makes sense). It even has poor college student food - like single serve ramen and cans of tuna and things like that. Awesome.

When I got back I started watching Dexter (it's kind of fantastic - and captures my attention and curiosity a lot more than Breaking Bad) and finally tried out It's a language-learning tool that I've heard of for a while but never really thought to try, but I finally bit the bullet. It's great because it's founded on a community - native speakers and learners of all languages come together to converse with and teach each other. Since I already know some Spanish, it's a great way to practice! Apparently people are quite active on it, and I can pay people to teach me if I feel it's necessary. I  might in the future to learn more about verb tenses that I wasn't able to cover - like the conditional (I would do something) or the subjunctive (If I were to win the lottery). I have quite a ways to go before then, though.

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