July 3, Antofagasta, Chile

            Ceviche!!  I'm back on the pacific coast and reminded of how great that meal is!  Ceviche is basically raw fish that is marinated, or "cooked", by the acids in lemon and/or lime juice.  The fish varies from shrimp and other shellfish, to general white meat - usually the less oily types of fish, cut into small chunks.  The simple version is just fish, lemon/lime juice, some cilantro and maybe a little red onion, which is the version I like best.  I'm still recovering a bit from the cold, sore throat and general ass kicking I took by crossing the Andes in such cold weather and ceviche will be the elixir to finish off my ailments.

            This city is slightly south from the route I'd planned but I'm glad I'm here.  Antofagasta reminded me of Lima, Peru, from the moment I arrived.  It's a cool, foggy/cloudy coastal town that seems to have a somewhat significant poor area surrounding the safer, more established areas.  The difference between here and Lima is that probably at least 60% of this city is safe for gringo's walking around with camera's, while there's only about 10% of the Lima city limits where that would be safe.  But the important thing is that I'm here and they have lots of Ceviche for me so I'll stay one more day to get some photo's of all the fishing stuff and city in general.  If you click on the Satellite version above you can see the harbor and my hotel is just north of all the harbor buildings.  It's $40 a night but during the summer it's 2-3 times that much so I'm enjoying it.  The harbors fish market is large, colorful and loaded with ceviche.  I don't think I've mentioned ceviche this many times in one day before but it's my favorite South American food, so ceviche, ceviche, ceviche!!!

            And I've finally got another page of pictures from the Salta area:


July 4, Antofagasta, Chile

            Happy 4th of July!  Here in Chile they're so excited about the 4th of July that they act like it's just a regular day, but I can tell that they really want to light explosives and grill stuff.

            I'll be heading north today, toward Peru, but I still can't get over the name of this place.  if it were the name of a food it would be some Italian pasta dish - probably a bow-tie pasta in a nice pink tomato vodka cream sauce.  If it came in a can it would be a hot pink can with rainbows and a picture of Liberace and George Michael face to face, staring intensely at each other like they're growling, with a big bowl of that hot pink pasta between them (with two forks) and a caption saying "Antofagasta: Grrrrrrrrrrr Yummy!!" 

            Sorry, I couldn't help it.  Actually there's nothing about this town that resembles pink pasta or the two aforementioned individuals, I was just working on a resume for Director of Marketing at Kraft Foods - think I'll get the job?

More pictures: