The chaos of Arica’s bus station didn’t feel half as bad as that in Tacna. A big-bellied and jolly Chilean taxi driver welcomed us into his cab. Gosh it was hot!
Our driver’s name was Lilo and he was cool – and a bit mad. He chatted and laughed with us. We needed to go to the bank to get some Chilean Pesos (we were certainly millionnaires here!). Lilo laughed and sang the whole way. He turned the radio up along the way for Tom Jones’ “Delilah” and sang out loud, while waving his arms round like an orchestra’s conductor! We joined in, which set him off even more.
We hadn’t managed to book a hotel in Arica, so armed with our guide books, Lilo took us to those we had selected. Eug went in to check out the first. “He’s a good man! A very good man. I like him. He’s a good person”, Lilo enthused to me while pointing at Eugene. “And Emma! So boootifull. Boootifull”. Then he started singing again. There was no room at the first hotel, so we were back in the taxi and to choice number 2. Lilo followed Eug in at this point because, as his waving arms kept gesturing, it was just too hot for him! There was the last room at (Old) El Paso Hotel free. What a relief!
Lilo shook our hands very enthusiastically and then disappeared in his taxi. He had given us such lovely welcome to Chile, especially after the chaos of Tacna.
Tags: Chilean moments