The 11 hour bus journey to get to here seemed to fly by, we’re obviously getting good at this bus malarkey. Just as well really as we’ll be on a fair few more yet!

IMG_0613Copiapo is surrounded by big mountains on all sides and has a dry desert feel to it. It’s a relative sized town of 100K+ residents that was formed for mining in the area and has a real manual labour, scruffy thing about it. It was still early when we arrived (about 8am) so we sussed out the buses for tomorrow night to Calama from where we’ll make the 1 or 2 hour hop to San Pedro de Atacama, before we went in search of somewhere to spend the night.

After a bit of map confusion we found a residencial, our cheapest sleep yet (but then our first shared bathroom, there are 2, both outside, for about 14 rooms which mostly seem to be filled by ‘boys’ working in the town so aren’t the cleanest or the freshest smelling).

IMG_0614Our room was fine though and the place had the added bonus of a Spaniel puppy that would come in to see us – we couldn’t help risking rabies to play with it.

We have spent our time kicking back and exploring the town. Emma dragged Marie to the mineral museum, which Emma loved and Marie found mildly interesting. Houses in the backstreets are often surprisingly colourful and away from the town centre the streets are pretty quiet and laid back.

Next stop Calama then San Pedro.


  • The stray dogs are all so cute (except the ones with mange)
  • Te con leche (tea with milk) can mean so many different things – from bog standard English tea to half hot milk and half hot water with teabag, to a cup of warm milk with a teabag

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