Panama Canal Cruise

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South America » Chile » Coquimbo Region » Coquimbo
March 5th 2018
Published: February 20th 2019
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Day two


Football, dogfights and spectacular views.

See photos and video!

The only good thing about having to use facebook to post my blogs is the speed I can upload photos and now videos too!

Enjoy! The one of Dave almost getting savaged by a dog is a good watch.

We docked in Coquimbo early morning and, after breakfast in the dining room, headed out to explore. 🇨🇱 Chile is long and thin, the top end being desert and the lower part more lush with varied weather. We are close to the top third so the signs of desert were everywhere.

The land itself is sand coloured and dusty. Even the tarmac roads had a thin layer of desert dust atop and cactus 🌵 were absolutely everywhere. It was hot but not at all unbearable.

We were not sure what we were going to do but the moment we walked from the port we were met by masses of private taxi operators, tour sellers and the like. One young girl was offering what seemed like a bargain of a trip for twenty dollars a head in an air conditioned minibus.

She said we would go to the town of La Serana, then on to the Third Millennium Cross..... then to a craft market, some photo viewpoints and then a wine tasting place.... all for 20 bucks. Bargain!! Princess were offering a trip with less itinerary and in a non air conditioned bus for around 90 dollars a head. It was a no brainer, we joined a group of six on the minibus and off we went.

We had a brilliant time. The others on the bus affectionately referred to us as “the kids” and they were all friendly, chatty and, most importantly, mobile! All the stops involved a degree of walking or climbing but no one had any issues. Even the one guy who was a paraplegic was a whiz in his chair.

The third millennium cross is a religious monument, standing some 93 meters . For three dollars we could take the lift to the cross level and walk around inside the structure. The view was incredible, photos can’t do it enough justice but I tried!

We noticed the signs which warned about tsunami dangers... helpfully advising to Get to higher ground.

Our next stop took us to an old fort....Helpfully , the gates were closed so we had to scale a rock-face to get down to the fort itself. Apparently the gates were close to stop vehicles getting through but They didn’t have the foresight to think about a pedestrian gate!

It was nice though, the view of the sea with the backdrop of desert and mountains really blew us away. I had no idea Chile was so beautiful.

Whilst at the fort, Dave decided to play a game of football with one of the, many, wild dogs. There is no point being afraid of dogs here, they are everywhere. This dog looked like an Alsatian cross and he toyed with Dave... allowed him to approach the football but pounded on it Whenever he got too close!

It was, quite frankly, terrifying. I was sure he would end up bitten then come down with rabies. The dog was wagging his tail.... but I think it was just biding it’s time.

Anyway, the game stopped when we heard a lot of barking getting closer and closer. Suddenly, a whole new pack of dogs came running up the dusty road. They were not playing.... we just stood still and they ran past us. Our footballing canine ran at them and there was a big, loud and snarling fight.

It didn’t last for long and soon they all seemed to be mates again. The dogs do seem to run this place though! They all looked well fed.... someone must feed them? Either that or they live on human tourists who try to take their footballs.

Our minibus took us to a few photo stops too... one of them was the local uni. all in all, at least three times what princess offered but for a fraction of the cost. The benefit of going with princess is peace of mind... if your princess tour is late, the ship waits.... if your private tour is late.... adios!!!

David and I found a place for a local cactus beer at one of our stops. It was very good!

We were not late! David and I left the minibus at the wine tasting place in Coquimbo and walked back to the ship. In Coquimbo itself, there was very little to see. It look a little like the Brazilian favela... we were very VERY pleased with our 20 dollar tour.

I saw a body being removed from the ship as we sat down to afternoon tea. Sad but, on a 60 day cruise, hardly a shock. We were told there are three more bodies still onboard! Eeep.

Afternoon tea was lovely and we spent a relaxed evening around crooners bar chatting to new people. One funny man asked why on earth we bothered when our cruise was only three weeks! Cheeky sod.

One couple we met are on a 90 day cruise!!! It’s insane really but if you can, why not.

We get a lot of comments everywhere we go because we are new faces. Only 400 people got on in Santiago and we stand out because of our youth apparently!

I’ve walked past people and they say....”hi Karen and Dave!” We haven’t met them, they just KNOW about us!

So that was yesterday. Today we are at sea. It’s hot, it’s blazing sun and I’m on the balcony. Today’s blog will come later today. I’m playing catch-up!



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