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Concepcion, Chile

Tuesday 25th- Friday 28th January
We had movies that were in English on our bus-finally! This might not seem like something write home about, but let me tell you that normally they’re in Spanish with Spanish subtitles! Go figure. We were so happy being able to follow the movie’s plot that we ‘almost’ didn’t mind that it was the worst E-grade crap we have ever seen. They were so bad they became enjoyable.

Conception is a city still recovering from major earthquake damage when a 8.3 earthquake hit them last year. It is also a university town so it has limited accommodation, with most of the rooms in town going to the student contingent. We were a little worried about the fact that our Lonely Planet bible only had three places listed in which to stay. Two were in the same building. We some how remained optimistic and when we hopped in a cab at the bus station we asked to be dropped off at the central plaza, hoping our luck would be there. As it turned out our cab driver ended up asking us if we had somewhere to stay and offered to take us to look at a place he knew. Well the room ended up more than our budget would normally allow, but we decided on ignoring that for one night so we didn’t have to stress. I have to admit by this time I had had enough of the whole trying to organise finding somewhere to sleep and trying to understand what people were saying and just wanted to stop thinking for a while. We still had the fun job of trying to find where the other hostels were that would hopefully be cheaper and more kind to our pockets in the coming days. To cut a long, very boring story short, we walked up and down the street the hostels were supposedly on to find that none of them existed any more. Awesome!! Luckily we found the information centre with the most helpful English speaking guy who had a list of places to stay and even rung them to get prices for us, because at that stage I was loosing faith in having any pleasure staying in Conception rapidly and was ready to just pack my bags and leave in the morning. Oh, I should mention this was the second spot for the information centre also- the first one wasn’t there anymore either. We checked out a place that was dirt cheap. It was very basic, but it had everything we needed so we booked in for the next two nights.

With that settled, we went out for dinner and saw everybody drinking beer with something around the rim. A customer told us what it was and said we should try it. Which we did, and did we regret it! I can’t remember the name of it, but its beer with lemon juice and a salty, chilli flaked crust around the rim of the glass. It was terrible, see pictures for more proof.


We spent the morning watching the Mighty Boosh and Peep Show, an English comedy series which is quite funny, before heading off to our new hostel. We were then off to a café that had Wi-Fi before Pete and I went our separate ways, him to play guitar, and me to check out the huge craft fair that was on. It was pretty big, but filled with the same things over and over again. I’m getting bored of the same thing in markets all the time. Pete likes this though, as I’m not as excited to go to all the markets now and I don’t want to buy everything in sight.

That night we went to one of the many uni pubs for a drink. We were not far off leaving when this guy, Nickolas, who spoke very basic english approached us and told us that he had a friend who was Australian who would be so happy to meet us. We said “okay, where is he?” His friend wasn’t at the pub, and had to go through a series of phone calls to track him down. In the mean time Nickolas and his friend decided to sit with us, his friend not really speaking english at all and Nickolas just saying the same thing over and over again. “I love my friend and you met him make him so happy.” After over an hour of us waiting to see what was going to happen thinking that we were on the verge of another misadventure, Nickolas told us we had to walk fifteen minutes in the direction away from our hostel as Paul was at a restaurant. How do you tell someone who doesn’t speak English that if their friend was so excited to meet us why didn’t he come here? We left with the false promise of calling this Paul guy the next day and counting our loses.


We had been told the university was quiet impressive and went for a walk through the grounds to check it out. We weren’t disappointed. There were lush grass areas, statues, big murals and even little ponds where swans and students hung out and mutually contemplate how the uni survived the devastating earthquake without much damaged? Pete was very taken aback by it, especially since the rest of the city was nothing to look at.

We made our way to the most exciting looking thing ever-Plaza Jurasica. It was park that had big plastic dinosaurs through it. We saw it in the cab on the way into Conception, and were excited about going there. The dinosaurs were huge and you were allowed to climb over them and do poser photos. There only ended up being about five Dinos though much to our disappointment. Still, we took our photos and it was the first of its kind on our trip, which is always good!

I need to mention that by this stage we realised why our accommodation was so cheap (check out the kitchen shelving). Pete realised after channelling his ESP that the hostel was more like a hospice. No one there spoke a jot of English, but one spoke enough to let us know that one of ladies staying there was crazy! Loco. Alright! How to make us feel comfortable! Our only real solace was our padded room where we had a TV that was burry and fuzzy. Pete had the hugest sneezing fits from all the dust and we were woken up one morning with shouts and screams! You get what you pay for!! Friday morning we didn’t even have showers as the water was either scorching hot or freezing cold. We just woke up, packed up our stuff, and got out of there as fast as we could. Truly you have to go to really conceive Conception!

permalink written by  Pete+Rochelle on February 2, 2011 from Concepcion, Chile
from the travel blog: Round the world!!!
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My name is Jennie and i just wanted to let you know that there now is a webpage called theultimatetourist.com where you can finally get some use from all these photos you have of yourself, posing by different tourist attractions all over the world.

Choose from nearly 150 attractions and typical touristic activities, upload your photos and collect one tourist point for each photo (Remember you have to be in the photo yourself to prove you were actually there..:). Reach different levels and everybody over 80 points will become Ultimate Tourists.

Good luck!

permalink written by  Jennie on February 12, 2011

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