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!
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!
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.
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.
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?