Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Untitled story about Forrest's side trip to the Atacama Desert: Stories from A to Z

Forrest had arrived in the Atacama on a Friday, dropped off in the center of the little town, San Pedro de Atacama. He saw people playing soccer in a football field and watched them for awhile before going on to the hostel. 

He knocked on the door, but nobody answered for at least fifteen minutes. “Finally, a Brazilian dude who ran the place answered it," he said. 

The hostel had two rooms, each with six beds. There were two bathrooms, which along with the rooms were split between male and female residents. In the main gathering room, they had a blackboard with Chilean slang written on it. Forrest took a picture of the board with the words and their translations.

"I met a guy from the Netherlands at the hostel," he said. "We explored together a little, hung out for a day or so. There were two girls, one from England and one from Ireland, traveling together, and we talked to them quite a bit. I went to a bakery with the girls, and we got some good chocolate cake."

I liked hearing about Forrest's trip as we traveled together to Arica, the border town on the Chile side. Our bus ride seemed short. It really had made no sense for me to stop in Iquique. I should have gone on to Arica and waited for Forrest there, saving him that extra trip back to Iquique. 

Still, I was glad I got to experience both Antofagasta and Iquique, to see the contrast between them and to feel like I knew the country a little better. That was the whole point of traveling after all. 

Forrest and I arrived in Arica before dark, which was nice having some daylight to walk around the area. We dropped off our stuff in the room and then went out to find a place to eat. 

I suggested we sit down for a hot meal rather than just get snacks or a sandwich, or an empanada-- way more common in Chile than a sandwich. 

We saw a small cafĂ© around the corner from our hotel. I ordered seafood soup, which was incredible. But the best part of dinner was sitting down with my son to enjoy a meal together. I had missed him. 

He talked more about his time in the Atacama Desert. He had gone biking, gone to church in the little branch on Sunday, then hung out with some members on Monday. 

"I enjoyed the time with them more than anything. They were an older couple who lived outside of town, but they drove in to pick me up and then back to their house for the afternoon. We ate bread with jam and butter. They told me about their daughter who they said was abogado. I thought they said avocado but how could she be an avocado? After we got it straight, we all had a good laugh."

Despite the enjoyable side trip to Atacama, Forrest was more than ready to cross the border to Peru in the morning. 

“I’m done with Chile,” he said. "Me too," I agreed. 

Cachai -- You know?

Bacan -- Cool

Weon-- Dude, Mate

Wea-- Stuff

Cuatico-- Amazing

Chela-- Beer



  1. I've never stayed at a hostel. Loved the vocabulary words.

  2. I've never stayed in a hostel. At this point in my life, I value privacy and quiet, so I probably never will now. But Forrest seems to have made a good decision in where he stayed.

  3. This is quite an enticing adventure. I really like the glossary at the end, helpful.

  4. After watching the Hostel movies, I doubt I would be able to make myself stay at one. lol

  5. I've never stayed in a hostel - communal living/sleeping is not for me.


Comments are welcome!