Category Archives: nonBoat

Third Millennium Cross

Monuments of Coquimbo

Coquimbo is peppered with beautiful monuments all over town.  Specifically, the the Millennium Cross, the Mosque, the Mirador, Forte, and fresh markets.

CRUZ DEL TERCER MILENIO – “THE MILLENNIUM CROSS”

The Cruz del Tercer Milenio is Spanish for “Third Millennium Cross”.  This 93-meter-high Monumental Cross is made of concrete. It includes a museum, temple, bell tower, park and stations of the cross. The cross is located a top a hill overlooking the two bays and sits 197 meters above sea level.  Construction began in 1999 and it was completed in 2001.  Notably, this is considered the tallest monument in South America.

  • Cruz del Tercer Mlenio is supported by three bases which represent the Holy Trinity.
  • 10 columns represent the 10 commandments.
  • 12 pillars represent the 12 apostles.
  • It only took 10 months to build the main structure.
  • The monument commemorates the 2000 birthday of Christ.
  • The entire structure was built between two large rocks.
Third Millennium Cross

Third Millennium Cross

You enter the temple through ornate, massive, carved metal doors.  Once inside you are immediately struck by the beautiful simplicity of the temple.  Until, that is you look up to the alter where a vision of gold twinkles in the light and captures your attention. Seeing that from afar draws you into the temple.

Entrance to Cruz

Entrance to Cruz del Tercer Milenio

The bell tower was constructed with a delicate metal alloy that allows it to reproduce in high fidelity, 9 musical notes of the scale. It is operated with an Italian mechanism which can perform over 400 melodies.

Bell Tower of Cruz del Tercer Milenio

Bell Tower of Cruz del Tercer Milenio

The stations of the cross:

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You take an elevator to the arms of the cross where you have a 360-degree view of Coquimbo.  The arrows show you where Sugar Shack is anchored.

View from the T of the Cruz

View from the T of the Cruz

PLAYA HERRADURA – Mirador

Playa Herradura has a few nice lookouts, or miradors.  We took a walk up to one of them and were pleasantly surprised to find many beautiful sculptures.  Coupled with the view, these skinny sculptures provided interesting stories and picturesque photos.

Mirador Playa Herradura

Mirador Playa Herradura

MOSQUE OF COQUIMBO – CENTRO MOHAMMED VI para el DIALOGO DE LAS CIVILIZACIONS

The Mohammed VI Center for the Dialogue of Civilizations, better known as the Mosque , is a cultural center. The minaret of this mosque is a scaled replica of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech , Morocco .

Its construction began in 2004 with the help of artisans and builders from Morrocco. The mosque was inaugurated on March 14, 2007.  If you would like to read more on the Mosque, here is a really interesting blog that goes into detail on the history of the Mosque.

Unfortunately, the Mosque was closed for renovations so we could not go inside.  With this in mind, we were only able to walk around the outside.

Mosque

Mosque

FUERTE COQUIMBO

Also known as Fuerte Lambert, this former 19th century fort offers picturesque views.  Originally built in 1865 to guard the entrance during the war with Spain.  The unique, brick fort was named after Carlos Lambert who reconstructed it in 1879 to protect his ports against possible attacks from the Peruvian Navy during the Pacific War.

Fort Lambert no longer has an operational role militarily, but it is a popular tourist destination because of the views it provides across the Bay of Coquimbo.  There is not much to see at this forte except a few good photo ops.  With this in mind, this fort might have been a good replica of the original fort prior to the renovations.  Now it sort of looks fake and too modern.

Forte de Coquimbo

Forte de Coquimbo

Notice the pirate tourist ship in the background – talk about nice timing.  It is important to realize that they threw away the key.

Forte de Coquimbo

Forte de Coquimbo

PIRATE SHIPS – AHOY!

At the wharf, they have several pirate ships outfitted with all the trimmings including live pirates.  They will sheppard you around the bay in search of gold and other valuable treasures. Evidently, they are “real” pirates as you can see them in the above photos while we were at the Forte de Coquimbo.

Muelle Morgran Pirate Ship

Muelle Morgran Pirate Ship

TERMINAL PESQUERO

Large fish market brimming with fisherman selling their daily catch.  Breathing through your mouth is a must as the fish smells accost your senses like running into a brick wall.   Despite the smell we forged ahead to try to identify the huge variety of fish.

The fish come in off the boats and are loaded into trays.  Next, they are cleaned and hauled into the fish market to sell.  In some cases, they are cleaned inside the market while others are sold right off the dock.  An unidentified delicacy can be seen at the bottom left photo.  It looked like a hard piece of coral. Seeing that it is a crustacean we shied away.  They gently cut off the tip and then scoop out this red gloppy thing to get to the meat.  No, we did not try it.

Terminal Pesquero Coquimbo

Terminal Pesquero Coquimbo

There were several forgotten boats on the coast…always makes you wonder what the heck happened. From now on this will be known as the bird perch…

Fishing boat that has seen better days

Fishing boat that has seen better days

Ship wreck

Ship wreck

Feria de Abastos de Coquimbo

Fresh fruit and veggie market

Caldera

Chile Ports: Caldera, Calderilla, Salado

We received a proper send off from the lobos, dolphins and birds as we left the Chile Port of Antofagasta.  We are headed to Caldera which is about 200nm away.  The journey should take us 1.5 days with some wind even though the current and waves are going against us.

Arturo, from Club de Yates, led us out of our first Chile Port and through the foamy mess (see below top left photo.  We had lots of lobos sightings along the way.  It was super cute because they pop their head out of the water, look around, dip under, and pop up again.  They do this in a circle of about 5-6 other lobos.

The landscape is beautiful despite not having any greenery.  Rolling hills in various shades of tans and browns.

We managed to catch three of the same type of fish. We released them all as we could not identify them, let us know if you know what type of fish these are – maybe part of the tuna family?

Unknown Fish

Unknown Fish

You’ll notice the landscape is really barren and dry.  We are definitely in the dry zone.  They may get 1” of rain per year, but not every year.  It is strange to me to see beaches near the desert but that is exactly what you see when you come to Northern Chile.

We had zero wind for this trip and glassy water conditions during the day.  At night we had swirly 1m waves, but it was a full on motor the entire way.  Matt did a wonderful live blog on 27 January, so I won’t repeat his beautiful words.  Check it out here.  We cut off one engine and slowed down the other engine so we could arrive during daylight.  After 218 nm, 45 hours and 20 minutes we arrived in Caldera.

The Chile Port of Caldera bay is nice and large.  We anchored near the Club de Yachts.  As we watched our anchor, many yacht club members came by (kayak, boats) to say “hello” and welcome us to town.  We of course found more lobos.  The interesting thing is the area by the beach was set against huge, beautiful rock formations which gave the entire area a unique and stunning look.

Club de Yates Caldera

Club de Yates Caldera

We enjoyed this small town even though we only stayed for one day.  We checked in with the Armada, had a not so tasty lunch at La Chispa de Dona Luisa, and walked around.  The yacht club and the beaches were pretty busy, but that is not surprising as it is Sunday, family day.

Most shops were closed, but we stumbled across the Caldera Railway Station which was commissioned in 1850.  This train terminal had the first train depart in South America on 25 December 1851.

We also came across a statue of San Pedro Caldera, lots of funny looking manikins, a hungry shark, an old ship perched on to of a tourist building roof, and a crooked Caledera sign,

Sightseeing in Caldera

Sightseeing in Caldera

We found the local markets, hardware stores, and “tourist” traps.  Mostly this tiny town offered beach toys and stuff at the local tiendas.  We celebrated our new town with a beer.

Matt enjoying a Kuntsman Beer

Matt enjoying a Kuntsman Beer

We motored over to the next bay, Puerto Caladerilla for our second night.  The town was really, really small and we did not see any places to dock the dinghy.  So, we enjoyed a nice evening onboard.

Main photo of me next to Caldera colorful sign

CALDERILLA

We left late in the afternoon and were headed to the Chile Port of Calderilla which is a small bay less than 10nm from Caldera.  We made a light dinner and called it an early night.  The bay was relatively calm, very quiet and peaceful.  We got up early the next morning to continue heading south.  As we left the bay, we grabbed a few shots of the rocky coast.

Rocky Chilean Coastline

Rocky Chilean Coastline

BAHIA SALADO

It was another windless day but at least it was not on our nose.  We were able to let the jib out for a few short stints which gave us an extra knot or two.  Super calm seas, blue skies, and lots of lobos playing in the water.

The Chile Port of Bahia Salado is a very isolated bay.  There are 5 structures that appear to be housing compounds for the mine that operates just over the hill.  They could also be summer homes, but there is literally nothing around except these compounds and the mine.  How far do they have to go to get bread or milk or beer?

Bahia Salado - Housing Compounds

Bahia Salado – Housing Compounds

After we finished dinner, around 8pm, we watched two guys in kayaks make their way from shore to our boat.  Somewhere half way between, one fell overboard.  At this point they were about ¼ mile from shore.  As I finished up the dishes, Matt said they were getting closer.  Interesting.  I peeked and it appeared that one guy was pulling the other guy who was still in the water.  The guy in the water was pulling his kayak while holding on to his friend’s kayak.  Poor thing it was freezing outside and in the water!

They asked for help to bring them back to shore. I wish I would have grabbed my camera as it was the funniest image.  We tied one kayak with the guy still in it to Sweetie.  The other guy jumped in the dinghy as we then tied his kayak to the back of Sweetie.  He was in a t-shirt and shorts when he should have been in a full wetsuit.  He was shivering in the dink while his friend was having the time of his life riding the kayak as Sweetie towed him to shore.  It was hysterical.

Sunset in Bahia Salado

Sunset in Bahia Salado

Miles traveled from Calderilla to Bahia Salado 38.6 which took us about 6.5 hours at an average speed of 5.6kts.

Me at the top of Cerro San Cristobal

Santiago: Explorations

Matt and I are applying for a long-stay French Polynesian visa in Chile.  Sounds a little crazy for an American to apply for a French visa in Chile, but it is the best we could do.  There is a French consulate in Santiago, which is where we headed for our interview. Subsequently, being in a new city gave us a great opportunity to be tourist.

Send me a message/email if you are interested in learning about the requirements and procedures necessary for applying.  It is too complicated to blog about (and a little drab).  We scheduled our interview appointment after we gathered all of the necessary paperwork, photos, and background checks.  No easy feat being on a boat away from your files.

Santiago is a 16-hour bus ride or a 100-minute plane ride.  We flew, arrived early, checked into Casona Loreto Hotel, dropped our backpacks off and put on our explorer hats.  We only had 3.5 days to go on our scavenger hunt – so we hit the ground running.

Here are a few of the highlights of our scavenger hunt…some really cool places!

MERCARDO CENTRAL

Our first stop was Mercardo Central which was completed in 1874.  It was a bit overwhelming with each eatery vying for your attention, tummy, and wallet.  In other words, 3-4 people were standing outside yelling in Spanish to get you to come inside.  We understood about 1/2 of what they said. We decided to eat at the first place we saw and it was pretty darn tasty.

Marcardo Central

Marcardo Central

We stumbled across their version of “local” fresh market.  I say that only because it was enormous.  Not just one building of fresh goods, but multiple buildings spanning blocks!  It was spectacular!  We had not seen berries (blue berries, blackberries, raspberries) in ages.  And huge bunch of celery for decent prices (not $5 per stock).  We also found a flower mart, which had the most beautiful arrangements.  They had an interesting technique where they pulled back the petals of the roses.  As a result, you are exposed an extra giant rose.

Santiago Flower Mart

Santiago Flower Mart

We were staying near Bario Bellavista, which was not quite “central” but close to the metro and close enough to everything where we could walk.  Santiago had a lot of graffiti, but I gathered that they were proud of it and in fact considered it art.  It was everywhere.  Some of it was beautiful and some of it was “tagging” to me.  Consequently, it gave you something to admire as you walked down the bustling streets.

During our many, many miles of walking, we passed through huge, lush parks peppered with huge, flowing fountains and sculptures.

One of many fountains in the parks lining the streets

One of many fountains in the parks lining the streets

Lovers, lovers, lovers everywhere.  Santiago seemed to be brimming with lovers.  They kissed in the parks, on the benches, in the streets, in the mail, everywhere. Not little pecks of kisses, but deep, passionate kisses.

COSTANERA CENTRAL MALL & GRAN TORRE SANTIAGO:

We of course, made it to the local mall.  I only say that as the largest grocery store and hardware store are attached to the mall.  The mall can easily be found as it is attached to the tallest building in Latin America, the Gran Torre Santiago.  The building is 300 meters high and 62 floors.  The construction was very controversial for aesthetic reasons and the cause of city congestion.  Check out this site on Mirador del Costanera Center.  We did not have time to do the look out, so we saved it as an action item on our return visit to Santiago.

Tallest building in Latin America

Tallest building in Latin America Gran Torre

The Costanera Center Mall is unlike malls we’ve seen to far.  It is between 3-5 stories tall and includes a “Happyland” amusement park for kids, name brand stores (from U.S.), and oh so much more.  It was awe-inspiring.

CERRO ST. LUCIA:

Cerro St. Lucia is one of the most visited public parks as it is one of the most recognizable icons of the capital.  The hill is a remnant of a volcano 15 million years old and has a height of 69 meters.  The 63,000 square mere park is adorned with a stunning church, sanctuary, and ornate facades, stairways, and fountains.

Cerro St. Lucia in Santiago

Cerro St. Lucia in Santiago

CERRO SAN CRISTOBAL:

Cerro San Cristobal is an urban, enormous park in the city which contains numerous historical attractions and activities.  Main attractions include Mirador de la Virgen del Cerro San Cristobal, el Zoologico National de Chile, el historico Funicular y el teleferico.

We did not have time to do the Zoo or the Funicular.  Maybe on our next visit?

The Funicular dates back to 1925 and is a fun way to get up the hill.  It is a 500-meter journey with three stations.  We decided we wanted to walk the trail as opposed to sitting in luxury little trolley.  What were we thinking????

Funicular-del-Cerro-San-Cristobal-AHM

Funicular-del-Cerro-San-Cristobal-AHM

We passed through the main entrance (via the castle, see photo below) and started our ascension straight up hill – about 1.3 km.  The walk sure provided some amazing views.  You can see the Mirador de la Virgen in the background in 2 of the 4 photos.

Walking up Cerro San Cristobal

Walking up Cerro San Cristobal

Matt was like the little energizer bunny, but I had to stop along the way to rest my weary legs.

Matt and I walking up Certo San Cristobal

Matt and I walking up Certo San Cristobal

We were surprised to find a lot of vendors, eateries, and shops at the top of the hill.  It is, after all, one of the greatest tourist destinations in Santiago.

Top of Cerro San Cristobal

Top of Cerro San Cristobal

CAMINO DE LAS SIETE PALABRAS:

At the top of Cerro San Cristobal you will find  Camino de las siete palabras (Way of the seven words) which was blessed by the cardinal in 2015.  On this pilgrim one gets the image of the immaculate conception at the summit. The Way of the Seven Words is the new ramp with which you can access the temple of the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception of San Cristóbal Hill.

Way of the Seven

Way of the Seven Words

MIRADOR DE LA VIRGEN & SANCTUARIO IMMACULADA CONCEPTION:

The Virgen of Cerro San Cristoball can be seen from the entire city.  Installed on the summit of Cerro San Cristobal in 1908 is part of the Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception.  The statue stands 14 meters high and the pedestal for which the Virgen Statue stands is 8.3 meters high.  In addition, there is a small chapel in which his holiness John Paul II prayed and blessed the city of Santiago in 1987.

Virgen of San Cristobal

Virgen of San Cristobal

Throughout the entire area, they piped in peaceful, hymns sung in Spanish, acapella.   At the foot of the statue is an amphitheater for holding masses or other religious ceremonies.  When we visited, they had a beautiful, life size nativity.

Nativity at the Virgen of San Cristobal

Nativity at the Virgen of San Cristobal

TELEFERICO DE SANTIAGO:

Teleferico de Santiago provides a fun cable-car ride through the sky over the bustling city of Santiago.  With breathtaking views, you get an idea of the enormous size of the city that is home to over 5 million residents.

TELEFERICO DE SANTIAGO

TELEFERICO DE SANTIAGO

After we excited our titillating ride, we ended up back at the Costanera Central Mall.  And continued our exploration.

We hit all of the main districts of Santiago, most of the main attractions, and put in over 30 walking miles in 3.5 days.

Our interviews at the French Consulate went well.  We only had one appointment and technically you need one appointment per person.  However, today, we we able to submit both of our applications under one appointment. As an added bonus, we got to keep our passports.  Passports are typically sent with the applications, which can take up to 5 weeks to process.  You never want to be in a foreign country without your passport.  Now we wait….

Restaurants and Eateries in Santiago:

Our favorite place to eat was in Patio Bellavista.  This is a lively, bustling, 2-story square with dozens of restaurants to chose from.  We also enjoyed eating and drinking in Bellavisa where they have well over a hundred bars and restaurants on and around Pino Nono area.  Some of our favorite places were “The Backyard”, Buena Barra, Galinda, Agua de Chocolate.

Patio Bellavisa

Patio BellavisaTele

We stopped in a cool DJI store. We both have been wanting a drone, but it falls under the “want” category and not the “need to have” area.  Someday….Today, we admired the latest and greatest toys.

DJi Drone Headquarters

DJi Drone Headquarters

Additional Fun Photos:

Accessible Metro runs everywhere in Santiago

Matt resting with a BIG beer

Matt resting with a BIG beer

Pino Nono Funicular Station

Pino Nono Funicular Station

Super Funny Bathroom Signs

Super Funny Bathroom Signs

Talk about walking the “$hit” out of you….based on Apple Health

  • Day 1: Walked 6.6 miles, 15,784 steps, and 57 floors
  • On Day 2: Walked 10.3 miles, 25,714 steps and 49 floors
  • Day 3: Walked another 9.2 miles, 22,633 steps and 161 floors