Cruising up towards Panama

This morning, when we woke we were docked in the port of Arica, “The City of Eternal Spring”.   This city nestles between the Pacific Ocean and the Atacamo Desert and is the northernmost tip of Chile, 12 miles from Peruvian border.

We didn’t rush; we let all the tour people clear before venturing out. A shuttle took us through this commercial port to the terminal, which was actually in this rather small gateway town. We hadn’t got great plans other than to mooch around and find Wi Fi to load pictures onto, Unfortunately we don’t enjoy the unlimited Wi Fi we had on “Sirena”, instead, like most things aboard QV we have to buy an expensive package; this we did, but it is limited to around 10-minutes a day. Pictures take up too much time!!!!

Naturally the moment we were out of the terminal we bumped into

Lovely little church, posted in wrong place last time

Lovely little church, posted in wrong place last time

a church, this time build in wood and pretty, but small.

Although the Spanish only founded Arica in 1565, this coastal area of Northern Chile was inhabited for thousands of years before by the various Indian tribes around at that time. The settlement soon grew in importance, as Silver from the mines of Potosi was sent down on mules for shipment to Spain. Our friend, “Sir Francis Drake” heard of this valuable trade and in 1578 paid an un-expected visit and relieved the town of a considerable amount of their silver!!!

We wandered about and finally came across the main pedestrian shopping street where we soon found a suitable Café with Wi Fi. Christine managed to download all the necessary pictures in

Not a very interesting shopping centre

Not a very interesting shopping centre

preparation for when the script was written.Arica has suffered several disasters over the years; in the 17th century there were many earthquakes that destroyed the city and in 1713 the population was decimated by an outbreak of Malaria.

Before the “War of the Pacific” (1879 – 1884) between Chile and the combined forces of Peru and Bolivia, Arica was part of Peru. After a major defeat of the Peruvian army by the Chilean forces at a battle in 1880, Arica became part of Chile but it wasn’t ‘till 1929 that this was legally accepted as part of Chile.

After we had completed the necessary work on the Internet, we meandered back to the ship.

Tonight we dined in the Lido and then went to the theatre to listen to a Liverpudlian comedian. He had a ¾hr slot but there were many pauses, and towards the end he had to pick on the audience to fill the time. Many of his jokes were funny but a ½hr slot would have been more appropriate.

It big band night; the Royal Court Theatre Band and the Queens Room Band joined forces with the “Clarinettist”; what an evening, excellent lively music and the Queens Room was heaving, as this was a very popular event.

Today we are at sea; sun, pool, and a lecture on the Panama Canal, followed by a formal night; nothing else to report other than the evening show. Tonight we enjoyed a musical spectacular with the resident Q V singers and dancers. They were very professional and we thoroughly enjoyed it, I’m afraid to say the dancers on the Sirena could take a leaf out of this troop..  Tomorrow we visit Callao.

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