I was sad to leave Iquique, but I didn't have much time left now before my flight home, and I still wanted to make it up to the very top of Chile. I got a bus to Arica, the northernmost town in the country.
Arica wasn't as cool as Iquique, but I still liked it a lot. It was a lot more run-down looking, with low houses sprawling over a huge area. The hostel I stayed in was quite a way out of the centre, so I walked miles during my few days here. The first day I was there was a Sunday, which was a shame because it meant all the travel agents were closed, and my plan to spend three days in Parque Nacional Lauca was impossible. So instead I wandered around the city, eventually finding my way up El Morro, a huge headland which towers over the centre. I got there as the sun was setting, and climbed up it for some amazing views of the Pacific sunset. In the other direction, looking east I could see two giant snow-capped mountains, so far away they were only just barely visible on the horizon.
I watched the sunset and then watched the city lights come on. I was so close to Peru here that I decided I couldn't leave without a quick look across the border.