Thursday, November 4, 2010

Parinacota, Chile

I've uploaded some pictures to flickr that I took in Parque Nacional Lauca, which is about an hour's drive east of Arica, Chile, and borders on Bolivia. You can view them here (along with some other pictures from this trip). The pueblito of Parinacota is one of the standard stops on the tour, I guess because it's considered kind of quaint, but mainly because of its church. Unfortunately whoever had the key to the church was away the day we were there, so you'll have to read this Wikipedia article. Here's the door, at least.

This appears to be the main square:

It was still an interesting stop. The town has 12 residents (the Wiki article says 29, but I asked a woman living there and she said 12--when your town is that small, you probably know the exact number, though perhaps there are some who live there seasonally). That includes five kids. They have their own school, which actually has seven students: two come from other towns, and I wonder how big those are? There are several tourism-related shops, selling crafts and the like, near the square. I don't know if everyone works in tourism or if some do farming. There's even a small hostal. I briefly considered whether I'd like to come and stay there for a day or two. Given that tourists come every day, it wouldn't really be the ultimate in getting away from it all, but once the buses leave, you'd have only a dozen people, plus llamas, vicuñas, and vizcachas for company.

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