Arica, Chile

2019 HAL World Cruise

Monday, February 4, 2019

Before I tell you about Arica, may I point out the new link in the menu:  “Captain, Who’s Driving?”  This link will take you to the blog of the MS Amsterdam’s captain, Jonathan Mercer.  Capt. Mercer provides details and visuals of our sailing as well as the sites he discovers in port.  I’m sure you’ll find it enjoyable.  It had been on the menu bar last year; but I removed it while we were on the MS Rotterdam for the “Voyage of the Vikings” cruise.  I had trouble getting it back on, but Roger saved the day!!  He’s my computer guru!  Anyway, on to Arica…….

This is an extremely convenient port.  Cruise ships dock right in the center of town and shuttles take you to the port gate where you cross the street and find the market waiting for you to come and purchase the treasures of Chile!  We had been here before, but nothing much had changed—except the Customs house was closed for renovations—but we had photos from 2014!  Oh, and while I hunted for the 2014 photos, I found pics of “Ducks in Trees” that I just have to share with you!

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This is Arica as seen from the ship. We are docked right in the center of town. The Atacama Desert is clearly visible.
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El Morro overlooks the town. This is probably the best place to view the city, ocean and the Atacama Desert all at once. But the juxtaposition of these elements is impressive from many vantage points throughout the town.
From the shuttle drop-off at the port gate, it is an easy walk into town.
From the shuttle drop-off at the port gate, it is an easy walk into town.
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Between the port gate and San Marcos church is a convenient market on ship days.
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Customs House is the work of architect Gustav Eiffel. Commissioned by Peruvian president Jose Balta, the building was manufactured in Parisian workshops and then assembled in its present location. (2014 photo)
The old customs house is under renovation this year.  (2019 photo)
The old customs house is under renovation this year. (2019 photo)
There's an old steam locomotive in front of the Customs House.  (2014 photo)
There’s an old steam locomotive in front of the Customs House. (2014 photo)
It's still there!  (2019 photo)
It’s still there! (2019 photo)
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We had been here in mid-January of 2014 and found “ducks in trees!” What an amazing sight!
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Who ever hears ducks quacking in a tree! We did! But they weren’t here in 2019. Perhaps this is too late in the season?

 

On this trip, we did not visit the fisherman’s market.  Nor did we walk the streets of murals, but we did re-visit the San Marcos of Arica Church and the Avenida 21 de Mayo.  They look the same!  But the pedestrian shopping street is more crowded with cafes than we had remembered!

Terminal Pasquero (fisherman's port 2014 photo)
Terminal Pasquero (fisherman’s port 2014 photo)
Fish Market in 2014 photo
Fish Market in 2014 photo
Fish Market in 2014 photo
Fish Market in 2014 photo
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There are amazing murals all through the city. This photo is from 2014 when we walked the entire loop.
San Marcos de Arica Church.
San Marcos de Arica Church.
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Inside San Marcos de Arica Church. This church was designed by Gustav Eiffel in 1871 to replace the prior church destroyed by the devastating earthquake of 1868..
The Pedestrian shopping street, Avenida de 21 Mayo.
The Pedestrian shopping street, Avenida de 21 Mayo.

 

What we planned for this trip was to visit the Super Agro Market, specifically to buy Azapa Olives.  The Atacama Desert is the driest in the world (average rainfall is only 0.03 inches,) but there are two rivers that flow through the region and keep the climate humid.  The Azapa Valley is an oasis where vegetables and fruits thrive.

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The Super Agro Market. We came here specifically to buy some Azapa Valley Olives.
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Alas, the vendor would not take US dollars and we had no Chilean Pesos. But we were allowed to taste and discovered that the Azapa olives are very much akin to Kalamata olives from Greece!

After sampling the Azapa Olives, we stopped for our afternoon libation at the Antay Hotel.  The Antay Casino was not yet open, so we called it a day and returned to the ship.  As we sailed away, a local dance troop performed on the dock.

The Antay Hotel
The Antay Hotel
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A rare photo of the two of us enjoying the afternoon libation. Photo taken by our host, Diego.
The Antay Casino
The Antay Casino
A local dance troupe entertains for our sail-away.
A local dance troupe entertains for our sail-away.

We now have 5 sea days ahead of us as we sail to Easter Island.  We’ll be there Sunday morning.  Let’s chat again then!!!  Hopefully, the internet will be co-operative.  It is abysmally slow today!  We are in a lonely area of the Pacific.  Maybe there aren’t enough satellites overhead?

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