Thursday, November 25, 2010

La Serena rundown

Similar feel to Valdivia despite the completely different geography; besides what I said in yesterday's post, it's similarly clean, of both litter and dog feces. I wonder if dog crap covering the sidewalks is just a Region V problem? I'm confused.
  • Hostal El Punto - Run by a lovely multilingual German couple. Beds are squishy, but everything is cute and clean. In a shocking display of un-Chilean-ness, breakfast comes with slices of salami and turkey, and you can have them bring you brewed coffee in an individual French press. I paid US$60 for 3 nights, 2 in the dorm and 1 in a private room.
  • Coffee Express - The second place in Chile that makes espresso correctly without instructions.
  • Cafe Colonial - Pancakes, falafel, burgers: a prime stop for different food. The caesar salad has homemade mayonnaise, cheese that is not Parmesan, and the bacon is actually ham (possibly Canadian bacon), but it's tasty and non-Chilean all the same.
  • Daniela II - Sure, it's Chilean food, but it's good. I ordered Garlic Scallops with lots of garlic, and miracle of miracles, that's what I got.
  • Rincon Oriental - I braved Chinese food because the Lonely Planet book listed it. It...could have been worse? I ordered Garlic Chicken with "less salt and more garlic," so I got an enormous pile of chicken with about the right amount of salt and some garlic flavor. Skip it.
Overall, it's a pleasant place to be. There are lots of cool day trips I didn't take, to Valle del Elqui and the Humboldt Penguin Reserve and so on. If I'd stayed a third day I probably would have gotten restless with downtown and gone on an excursion.

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