So my birthday began like any other, in a completely subpar “hostel” in a small coastal town on the border of Peru and Chile. The prospects for the day seemed rather bleak when we realized the next bus out of town wasn’t until 9:30 that evening. Fortunately after a few other obstacles, we managed to book a flight for the following day to Santiago. Unfortunately that meant we had to skip San Pedro de Atacama and the Atacama desert, which my mom and I were both looking forward to.
Despite spending the previous night in a place that would make the ghettos of the US look appealing, the rest of the day went swimmingly. Starting with an early check in at Hotel Arica, a hot shower, and a sufficient use of the available wifi, we managed to turn our luck around. After refueling on our first world needs, we had mojitos on the beach accompanied by some lunch. Then we paid a visit to the Museo de colon 10, where we saw the remains of over 30 Chicheron in their original burial spots. Afterwards we climbed a giant hill circled by vultures to the giant tan Christ and some remaining War relics. Finally we headed back to the hotel for a nightcap and a complimentary pisco sour.
In the end, it turned out to be a birthday I’ll never forget and a nice addition to my new tradition of spending it abroad.