Random acts of kindness brighten everyone’s day. We have found that Chileans in general are extremely kind and very willing to go out of their way to help you. Maybe its because the northern part of Chile is a holiday destination and everyone is in a good mood? Or maybe just because it is who they are. The Chileans we’ve met here in Coquimbo seem to take random acts of kindness to an entirely new level.
Every day, and I mean every single day, we’ve been here, we have had kayakers, SUPers, small sailboats stop by to welcome us, say “hi” and compliment us on our boat. We are not the only sailboat in the bay. The marina manager personally took us in his car to the Capitaneria to straighten our our inflated bill from Huasco. Locals have given us tips of where to go, what bays to stay in, and places to see. It’s been refreshing and inspiring.
We decided to head to a beach bar on the other side of town. Even though we could not remember the name, we knew we had passed it on our 10-mile walk. Luckily, I remembered it was near the New Pirats bar we stopped at for drinks.
Since we knew it was over 6-miles away, we decided to take a collectivo to the center of Coquimbo and then walk along the beach. Effectively, cutting our walk in half, down to 3-miles.
It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, a cool breeze, and lots of people out and about It was Sunday after all. The collective (shared taxi) drops you off at Unimarc and the mall. On the side of the mall is a living wall which is absolutely beautiful. It has a huge array of colors, plants, and textures.
We continued past the Abasto Feria (fresh market) and walked along the beach toward Ovo Beach Bar. The entire place was empty and just reaching out to us. We ordered some drinks, enjoyed screaming fast wifi while basking in the sun. Matt had me do a little photo shoot, but I kept laughing.
We have heard from dozens of people how expensive it is to purchase any type of liquor in French Polynesia. As you might recall, we stalked up on rum and vodka while we were in Panama over a year ago. Yes, we still have a decent liquor stash, but our beer ran out months ago.
We loaded our push cart into the dinghy and headed to Lider, the local Walmart. We found it on sale for about $0.60 per can. Pretty darn good considering it is usually much higher than that here in Chile.
We asked a Lider employee if he had cases in the back and he just kept pointing to the newly stacked display. Even though we didn’t want to cause them extra work of restocking, he insisted. In order to get to the cases on the bottom, we had to move the individual 6-packs aside. Another employee came up and asked what we were doing and we told him we wanted to buy 15 cases. He said, no problem, let me get them from the back. What, you mean we don’t have to load them ourselves? He came back 10 minutes later with 15 cases in our cart. I tried to pay him but he would only accept my huge smile and hug.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS CONTINUE
After the store security triple counted the beer, we paid and called Uber. Our driver actually got out and helped us load the cases into his car. Once we arrived at the marina, he helped us unload them on to the side walk. WOWZA, 5-star rating for him. Matt went to get the cart and the marina manager came by to give us a hard time about the stacks of beer. He then called his son over to help us cart them across the yard to the dinghy dock. Sweet.
Just when we thought we had exhausted all the kindness out of this country. A local fisherman stopped to help us load the cases from the dock into the dinghy. Man this could not be more astonishing.
But here is the thing. This is not unusual behavior for Chileans. Everyone we have encountered in this beautiful country has been extremely nice and willing to go out of their way to help us.
Let’s just hope Matt doesn’t drink them all before we get to French Polynesia – after all that is 2 months away.
Other Fun Photos
Manager at Club de Yates, Rolando
A night shot of the Millennium Cross