Friday, Dec 21, 2018
It’s Chile, and Not Chilly
I am in Arica, Chile. My travel here was long…24 hours. I booked late, so availability of flights at a reasonable cost were few. My flight had 2 connections and hours of layovers. My first connection was in Lima, Peru where I charged up my laptop, computer, and phone during the 3 hours I waited to fly to Santiago.
In Santiago I realized the electrical outlets are different. Uuugh! I had an 11 hour layover and my devices were going to die. I bought a rapid charger for my phone in the airport…$28. I was happy to have it. I charged up my phone and headed for downtown Santiago during my 11 hour layover to Arica.
When I got downtown I searched for a Claro store and bought a sim card so my phone worked with data and I wasn’t dependent on wifi. After a couple false starts with activation I was good to go. I was able to google map and internet-find my way around Santiago. I love technology.
I was impressed with how clean Santiago is. I didn’t see trash anywhere in the streets. The people all dressed well too. A bit too formal for my liking, but I was downtown during business hours so it was probably appropriate for those working.
Chile is definitely a different place than Ecuador. For starters, the drivers stop for pedestrians. There also isn’t a constant barrage of honking from the vehicles in the street. I’ve seen this both in Santiago and Arica. I actually had to get used to cars waiting on me to do something. They probably thought, “What’s with this dumb gringo who can’t seem to cross the road.” 😉
Arrival in Arica
I met up with my friend Michelle in Arica. Michelle is a favorite family friend. She and my son Chase were in the same Peace Corps group in Guyana. Michelle has hung out with us in Ecuador a couple of times now. Since she was going to be in Chile, I decided I would visit her.
Michelle arrived in Chile several days before I did…and her luggage just showed up. I felt fortunate that my luggage was the fourth bag on the belt in Arica. Looks like I am off to a great start!
I am enjoying Arica. It is a city of 200K plus people yet it has a smaller feel to it. At the front end of the town square sits a red and white wooden church overlooking the plaza toward the ocean.
Michelle and I walked to the docks to watch the fisherman clean their catch and feed the sea lions, seals, and pelicans the parts they don’t keep. It was entertaining to watch these animals jostle for the best position to get the food. Looking out over the water the colors, sizes, and shapes of the boats made for a pleasing visual experience.
21 de Mayo
There is a lot of activity happening on 21 de Mayo street. It is loaded with vendors, shops, artists, performers. It is a great place to people watch.
I passed this pharmacist in Arica. He makes pharmacy look like a lot of fun. Maybe I just needed to dance more in order to stay in my old profession. 😉
Music Abounds in Arica
Michelle and I enjoyed a concert put on by the music department of the University of Coro in Arica. It is amazing how much talent exists in the world.
There are plenty of other musicians on the streets and in the plazas all playing, singing, and performing for the passersby.
So far my time in Arica has been fantastic. The town is interesting and the beaches are white and sandy. The weather is perfect here right now. Couldn’t ask for better.
If you celebrate Christmas, enjoy it. I will be enjoying mine here in Arica. Remember to appreciate who you are. You are the gift!
I’ll be back next week to share with you the rest of my trip in Chile.