Day 7 (February 14, 2014) Today we continued driving north through the Norte Chico hoping to spend the night in the little village of Bahia Inglesa, 430 kilometers from La Serena. The 1/2-start hotel in La Serena did not offer breakfast so Adrián made coffee in the room with the camping stove while I was working in the blog. I woke up with several bites on my arms and on my face. I wonder what kind of bugs shared the bed with me last night. It was cloudy when we left La Serena in the morning. Route 5 follows the shore for a while and then turns inland and begins to climb up on a long series of switchbacks known as Cuesta Buenos Aires. After 8 kilometers of slow driving because of traffic though the steep climb we reached the high plain above near the town of La Higuera. As one moves north getting closer to the Atacama Desert the landscape becomes drier and drier. We stop at Copiapó to get some money from an ATM. Chile is not cheap—gas for example is 1.5 dollars per liter, that is, 5.7 dollars per US gallon. We reached Bahía Inglesa in the late afternoon and discovered that the town was very crowded and that it was impossible to find lodging there. We are carrying camping equipment but the campgrounds we checked were overcrowded tent cities—one tent next to the other all under large canopies for protection against the sun. A few kilometers north of Bahia Inglesa is the less fashionable town of Caldera. We found a room at Hotel Caldera located right in front of the town’s small beach. The town was celebrating Valentine’s Day—el día de los enamorados—with a free concert in the main square. By the time we reached Caldera the bites on my body had tuned into tolerably itching swollen bumps. We wanted to taste some of the famous Chilean seafood so we went to an eatery in the harbor. Adrián had an empanada of cheese and jaibas (Chilean stone crabs) and I had an empanada of cheese and locos (Chilean abalones). We shared a large dish of shellfish (locos, jaibas, sea squirts, ceviche, mussels) and a Stella Artois. The view of the sunset on the bay during dinner was quite beautiful. A group of three sea lions were somersaulting out of the water while several pelicans cruised very close to the flat sea surface, perhaps hoping for a last bite before the nightfall.