Wednesday, 4 March 2015
04.03.2015 - 04.03.2015
Arrived in Valparaiso under a clear sky, a calm sea, light breeze and warm temperature rising to 23 °C. Our arrival was marred by the presence of five gigantic container cranes blocking our berth. What should have been a simple task turned into a two hour delay because one of the cranes broke down and had to be pushed along by one of the others, an excruciatingly slow process. As you could imagine this threw the entire schedule out the window.
Eventually we were directed to the shuttle which took us almost three Km through the working port to the 'Terminal' where our tour coaches were waiting. We left almost exactly two hours behind schedule but that didn't detract from the tour. We spent four hours weaving in and out of the many hill-side neighbourhoods. There was every style of architecture from palaces and five star hotels to shanty towns clinging to the hillsides.
The city is scattered over about 40 hills with steep gullies separating them. The city grew as money was available and a need existed. It surrounds all sides of a horseshoe shaped bay and climbs from the water's edge to the hill-tops with almost every structure having a view over the bay.
The sun was fierce but provided a pleasant change from the previous cold weather. The guide warned repeatedly to avoid sunburn in the high UV readings due to the location by applying lots of sunscreen.
We returned to the ship, had a snack lunch and then attended the third Muster Station Drill for the cruise. Many of us who boarded in Ft Lauderdale displayed a high level of disinterest. For the 600+ passengers who boarded in Valparaiso it was more interesting and many appeared to enjoy the experience of trying on the life jackets. Made our way to the dining room for a lovely meal in a subdued atmosphere with well over 50% of the seats unoccupied.
Went out on deck to experience the departure which ultimately was delayed for an hour beyond the revised 1930 scheduled time. The ship will need to make up three hours to arrive in Coquimbo on schedule. Indications on the navigation screen are that we are sailing at 20.5 knots, very close to maximum cruising speed.
We sail into Coquimbo/La Serena, Chile tomorrow.
If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony