We didn't go ashore in Mejillones (I doubt anyone wanted to), but we saw some fishing boats following flocks of diving birds and tanker trucks driving along the sandy roads ashore. The customs authorities came onboard, and we stayed anchored for a few hours. It was warm and sunny, and many people sat outside, soaking up the sun. In the mid-afternoon, as we watched the small customs boat head back to shore, the captain spoke over the PA, telling us that the customs officials, who had never cleared a cruise ship, had given him the precious, golden-edged certificate allowing us to leave Chile. The frustration was very evident in his voice.
Later in The Bar, the Captain stopped by our table, and I asked him about the Mejillones customs inspection. He described the onerous process. The customs officials scrutinized all the passports and paperwork, making sure the three required documents for every person on the Silver Spirit were perfect. No wonder it took so long! The good news is that I've now seen Mejillones, Chile, a city no one else I know can "check off".
As we sailed north for our first port, Pisco, I attended lectures on Peru, learning a lot about the country and its ancient peoples, many of whom arrived before the Incas. One tidbit of trivia--Peru has thousands of varieties of potatoes, and the tuber comes in all colors from white to blue to red to purple. Some of the Peruvian potatoes grow at very high altitudes and in very cold temps. Some have even been taken to the International Space Station to grow due to their hardiness. The Peruvians seem to love their potatoes more than those from Ireland or Idaho!
Actress Karen Allen and production designer Kristi Zea spoke on their careers and the various movies they had worked on. They were scheduled to disembark in Santiago, but stayed on until Lima due to the problems at the airport. I remember Karen most for her role in "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Kristi has worked as both a costume designer and production designer. They were both excellent speakers, which was a little surprising.
Our fifth day on the Silver Spirit was our first port day in Pisco, Peru, home of Pisco brandy, the key ingredient in Pisco sours.
Page 4 > > Tambo Colorado in the Pisco Valley of Peru > >
More on Silversea Silver Spirit Latin America Cruise - Valparaiso to Acapulco
- Embark in Valparaiso (port for Santiago)
- Days at Sea on the Silver Spirit
- At Anchor Off Mejillones, Chile
- Pisco, Peru - A Day at Tambo Colorado and Sumaqkay Peru
- Ancient Peoples of Peru - Incas and Other Tribes
- Lima, Peru - Tour of Old Town
- Lima, Peru - Magic Fountains and Dinner at Hacienda Diez-Canseco
- Pachacamac Pilgrimage Center near Lima
- Mamacona Hacienda near Lima and the Peruvian Pasos
- Manta, Ecuador - Home of the Panama Hat
- Puntarenas, Costa Rica - Rafting on the Corobici River
- Day at Sea and Tour of the Silver Spirit Galley
- Tour of Antigua, Guatemala from Puerto Quetzal
- Filadelphia Coffee Plantation - Shore Excursion from Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
- Disembark in Acapulco