IMG 0135Our laundry has been well done and so it should be at the price. We could have replaced the whole lot new for what it cost however I did not have to fool around with doing it in the hand basin so it's a worthwhile investment, of a sort.

Today is yet even more desert but this time it's been worked over in huge mines for what looks like many years to extract nitrates. These were apparently used for fertiliser and the already grim desert is now a complete mess.

The picture is of a very ramshackle cemetery of what I presume to be the miners who did not escape what must have been a hell hole.

As we plough on there is eventually small evidence of water with the odd tree appearing mostly dead until, finally a river with vegetation in the bottom of the valley.

IMG 0136Lunch (and yet more fuel) at a tiny place called Maria Elena. The lady we take to be the owner greets us like long lost siblings with kisses to the cheeks. It seems she saw us in Antofagasta. Anyway it's a good lunch albeit a tad green.

The afternoon is more of the same and we can see the dust devils working their way across the empty plain. They resist my attempt to get photos by disappearing when I stop.

The road down from the desert to Iquique is stunning and utterly impossible to stop on for any kind of photographic opportunity. The drivers seem to have abandoned all their considerate behaviour and substituted loony horn honking madness. Odd.

The Hotel Gavina is right on the water front and very nice indeed except I seem to have used the IMG 0134last of the 8th floor hot water with my shower. Not everyone is best pleased.

Anyway it's been a very long day with a very hot afternoon.