From Bahia Inglesa I was headed to Antofagasta, also quite a long journey and from there, up to Tocopilla where my friend Mariela lives. I arrived, shattered, at the bus stop outside an ice cream shop and called her up. Only a few minutes later she was there with her brothers and we went to her home.
I LOVED Tocopilla! I thought it was such a cool town. The sector where Mariela lives is like the Chilean answer to the colours of "La Boca" in Argentina; the houses all painted in brilliantly bright, colourful colors, with the sea in front and a massive mountain in the back. The city center is very clean, I thought, and orderly, reminding me somewhat of the center in Vina del Mar, just smaller. The coast is very rough but the people of Tocopilla had their answer to that, so that they could swimming in the sea - create a safe place! A part of the ocean has been closed with concrete, leaving a big pool with sea water that enters the pool with occational waves that splash on the surface of the concrete barrier. It's a little hard to explain it, I'll have to take more pictures of it next time. Then there's also a beach so people who prefer that, can lay on the beach and enjoy the sun. And within a short stroll outside town, there's an absolutely GORGEOUS coastline, dotted with massive rocks. Me, Mariela and her friend Juan Carlos went walking there and were at this perfect place at the time of sunset. I never forget it and luckily I've got photos to prove it :-)