Chile
San Antonio Province

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45 travelers at this place

  • Day12

    Day 9 - On Board

    January 7, 2019 in Chile ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    The day dawned brightly for leaving Valparaiso. We had breakfast and left the hotel. A wrong turn led us up into the hills trying to find the road to Santiago but cranking up the GPS got us on track. We drove up through the Casablanca valley and into Santiago to drop off the rental car and meet our driver for the hour an a half trip to San Antonio. That drive took us through a very productive region with vegetable and fruit farms interspersed with cattle ranches. The port of San Antonio is relatively small but busy and crowded. Checkin for the cruise is much like checking in to a flight - just a lot more people (think checking in 3,000 passengers). Still, we completed the process in little over an hour and we in our stateroom by about 3:30. We unpacked then attended the mandatory evacuation drill.

    The Celebrity Eclipse is a huge boat. At almost 1,100 feet, it's three football fields (including end zones) long and 120 feet wide. It has 15 decks and holds 2,850 passengers. Walking around you can hear many languages but most programs and announcements are in English. Some announcements are also in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

    The ship sailed at 6:00 and we watched from our stateroom veranda. The San Antonio port is narrow and the ship had a pilot boat and a tugboat to help it clear the quays. As we pulled our, several small tourist boats filled with people came our to watch.

    Once underway, we attended a comedy show by an American, black comic, Daran Howard. He was ok but some of the references to black culture went over the heads of the international audience. We cruised south staying about a mile off the coast. We had a late (8:30) seating for dinner and waited to be seated with 1,000 other people. Our table mates (for the entire trip) were a couple from Germany and a couple from Lodi, CA. Hans, the German man, had been in the merchant marine and remarked on how skillfully the captain had handled the exit from the narrow harbor. Fred, the California man, turned out to be a civil engineer, like me, and Hans was a mechanical engineer. Fred's wife, Silvia, was originally from Peru but had been a teacher in the states, as had been Gail. Didn't learn what Hotie, Hans' wife, did.

    Dinner and our conversations lasted until 10:30 so we so called it a day.
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  • Day7

    4.Advent

    December 18, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Nun sitze ich in einem Café was Internet hat, so das ich endlich berichten kann.Am letzten Dienstag sind wir endlich raus aus der Mega Stadt gekommen. Wir haben uns ein Auto gemietet und sind zu immer noch unseren Sommerhaus an die Küste gefahren. Das Haus in keinen guten Zustand vorgefunden. Am nächsten Tag haben wir mit Kontakten der Maklerin eine Entrümpelung in Angriff genommen. Ich habe noch ne Luftmatratze besorgt 😟 und so wohnen wir in leeren Haus .Wir genießen nunmal unsere letzte Zeit hier und haben keine Lust auf herumreisen.Erst vor Neujahr fahren wir in den Norden.Read more

  • Day8

    Motorrad steht in Chile

    December 7, 2018 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Heute ging's durch die Zollhürden. Die Arbeit machte eigentlich Ronny der hier die Abwicklung der Motorradtransporte macht, und alles perfekt, souverän und sympathisch -vielen Dank!
    Wir-wir waren heute nur zu fünft -mussten nur noch die Formulare unterschreiben.
    Dann ging's mit Helm und Sicherheitsweste in den Containerhafen von San Antonio.. Sicherheitsvorschriften werden hier sehr genau genommen. Nach dem Anklemmen der Batterie müssen die schweren Böcke bis zum Zoll geschoben werden. Die Rahmennummer wird geprüft, wieder Papiere ausgestellt, unser Gepäck interessiert keinen, dann dürfen wir nach nur 4Std aus dem Zoll schieben, gestern dauerte es 10 Std.. Wir sind alle nassgeschwitzt. Jetzt erst mal zu Fuss zur nächsten Tanke, Sprit in die Kanister und wieder zu Fuss zurück. Mit Sprit springt meine alte GS sofort an, ohne will sie geschoben werden, da kommen dann 300 kg leicht zusammen. Ich frage mich, wer das alles eingepackt und aufgeladen hat.

    Nach einer Woche mit vielen Hindernissen geht's also endlich los.
    Im Hotel packe ich alles um, warum habe ich eigentlich so viel Krempel dabei?
    Morgen geht's Richtung Süden!
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  • Day7

    "I confess I have lived . . "

    February 22, 2018 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ -4 °C

    We left the Atacama Desert, and drove back to Calama, where we boarded a plane to Santiago. After a quick flight, we grabbed our rental car and headed for Valparaiso. On the way, we planned to stop at the second of Neruda’s three homes, which is located in Isla Negra (the third is in Valparaiso).

    The drive from Santiago to Isla Negra is about 1-1/2 hours. Leaving the city takes relatively little time, and you are soon surrounded by small towns and lots of fields. This is the heart of the Chilean wine country. The valley in which many of the grapes are grown is called Casablanca. We decided to stop at a small vineyard that our guide in Santiago had recommended, but GPS failed us and we ended upon in the middle of nowhere. So, we pressed on to Isla Negra.

    Neruda’s house at Isla Negra is located in a small beachside community. Since it is summer vacation at the moment, the beaches were filled with umbrellas and families enjoying a nice day. The beaches here are small, and pretty crowded.

    This house is called Casa de Isla Negra, and it sits right on the beach. Like La Chascona, his home in Santiago, this house was built to his specifications and is a series of small rooms filled with his many and varied treasures. He was a huge collector, and particularly liked ship prows of women (there are half a dozen in his living room), old bottles, musical instruments, pipes, oversized shoes, and sea shells. In fact, he collected so many shells that there is an entire room at Isla Negra that was built for the purpose of housing about half of his shell collection (the other half was given to a museum in Santiago). He was also quite a dandy, with a large collection of hats, costumes, and the tuxedo that he wore to accept the Nobel Prize. And, he loved to entertain, and had a bar in this house which was decorated to look like a French bistro, complete with tables. In the rafters of the room he carved the names of many of his friends, including Garcia Lorca. His bedroom was above the bar, so he oft said that he liked to sleep near his friends. He is buried at Isla Negra, and his death remains a huge controversy. In 1973, Neruda was suffering from prostate cancer. A few days after Allende was assasinated, Neruda was taken to the hospital. No one thought that his death was imminent. Six days later, he called he wife and claimed that he had been given a shot and was now in great pain. Six hours later he was dead. At the time, it was suspected that he was given some sort of toxin which caused his death. The theory was that Neruda was planning to flee the country, and lead a government in exile, in opposition to Pinochet, and that Pinochet had him killed. But, there was no evidence, and Pinochet had just risen to power, so no action was taken. In 2013, a judge ordered the exhumation of Neruda’s remains. In 2015, the government announced that it was “highly probable” that a third party was responsible for his death. In 2017, 16 scientists rejected the cause of death which was noted on his death certificate — cancer — and indicated that there was evidence of a cultivated bacteria which could have caused his death, but the investigation continues.

    Upon his death, a book of poetry was pushed called “I confess I have lived.” It is probably his most widely read book, and details the extraordinary life that he lived.

    After taking in the house, we returned to the car and drove to Valparaiso. We came in the back way, over the top of one of the hills. The area that we drove through was very poor, with many houses in disrepair. (We later discovered that the cost of rebuilding in Valpo can be prohibitive, so houses are often abandoned and new homes are found.). We wound our way down the hill, with me guiding and Arie muttering about “death by GPS.” We finally arrived at our hotel, Casa Gallo, which is located on Cerro Allegre. (Cerro means “hill,” and there are 44 hills in Valpo.). The hotel is lovely, and extremely well-situated. (We must give a big thanks to Reyna McKinnon and Sophia Cross, who gave us lots of info about Valpo and what part of town to stay in.). After dropping our bags in the room, we made our way to the rooftop deck to admire the view. It was just gorgeous, as we looked across the hills and valleys, which are filled with brightly colored houses.

    For dinner, we went to a restaurant called Cafe Turri, which has a fantastic view of the port. We really enjoyed watching the sun set, and the twinkling lights of the city. My dinner was fine, but Arie’s was fantastic. He started with carpaccio pulpo— paper thin slices (albeit cooked) of octopus. I can’t figure out how they were bound together, but the taste was delicious. For dinner, he had Conger Eel Soup (caldillo de congrio). He chose this because it was a favorite of Neruda’s . . .in fact, Neruda wrote a poem about the soup, which included the recipe. (In addition to being a poet, a politician and an architect, Neruda enjoyed entertaining and often created new recipes for his friends.). The poem has step by step directions for making the soup, and ends with this line: “And to table come newly wed the savors of land and sea, that in this dish you may know heaven.” The soup was fantastic, heavenly even — a rich broth, with a large piece of eel at the center and small chunks of potatoes. Arie announced that he wanted to try to make this at home. I’m all for it, but not sure where he is going to find conger eel . . .
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  • Day6

    Hafenstadt San Antonio

    March 17 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Da es noch recht frisch ist als wir aufwachen, am Nachmittag aber doch immerhin 23° warm werden sollte entscheide ich, heute nach San Antonio die Hafenstadt besichtigen und an das Meer zu gehen.

    Vom Busbahnhof fährt ein Bus direkt in 2 Std. nach San Antonio.

    Wir laufen bei den vielen Fischer vorbei die gerade ihr Fang aus dem Netz holen, andere zerlegen die Fische in dem sie den Kopf abhaken und aufschneiden. Es riecht ein wenig, jedoch sehr gut aushaltbar. 😉

    Weiter geht es zu den Seelöwen. Direkt beim Steg hoffen sie, Essen von den Fischern zu erhalten. Mehrere tummeln sich im Wasser.

    Gleich da verkaufen sie ihr Fisch. Der Geruch dementsprechend sehr stark.

    Auch am Strand finden wir wenige Seelöwen. Freudig gehe ich ihnen näher. Dies passt einem nicht und er zeigt mir sehr deutlich mit seinem Laut, dass dies sein Revier ist 😅

    Es ist bereits Nachmittag und wir wollen noch an den Strand und wer weiss, evtl baden 😁..

    Wieder nehmen wir ein Bus, ca 3/4 Stunde fahrt. Es sind wenige Leute am Strand. Der Sand ist sehr fein. Leider das Wasser sehr kalt und für uns mit 23° Aussentemperatur nicht wirklich einladend.

    Wir spielen Ball, fangen die Seifenblasen und haben spass.

    Erst in der Nacht sind wir in unserem Hotel zurück.
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  • Day33

    San Antonio, Chile

    February 4, 2018 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    We pull into a dark and gloomy-looking San Antonio at 6am, and my phone springs into life once more. My battery lasts for days at sea, yet is drained in minutes when we get signal again.

    You remember that buzz I said was running around the ship in anticipation of Rio? Well, the opposite has been happening for San Antonio. It’s a commercial port, and even the excursions team have been saying that there’s is literally nothing to do here for tourists, you have to go further afield to the bigger cities, or into the wine land. It’s basically a gateway port for Santiago (2 hours away) and Valparaíso (1½ hours away). It’s the Port Klang to Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur, if that means anything to you.

    It’s not picturesque. Valparaíso has a port, but I guess docking here is cheaper. A quick chat with the security officer in the lift reveals that this is actually the first time the ship has docked in San Antonio. (Update: our local tour guide has just told us that ships are docking here because of dock handling issues in Valparaíso, where recently they didn’t let cruise ship passengers ashore, so I guess we shouldn’t complain!) Today, we’re booked onto the Casablanca winery tour today (can you spot a theme?), which will apparently include a sightseeing tour of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso too. So, the view should improve soon.

    We set off on our tour about 30 minutes late, although part of the delay is caused because we can’t walk straight off the boat, because it’s a working port with lots of heavy plant moving around, so we have to take a shuttle bus around the port to the embarkation terminal—a distance of about 100 metres in a straight line, but which takes 5 minutes on the bus. We locate our correct tour bus and we’re off. Our guide for the day is Cristian, who does his best to whip up some enthusiasm in a very dull and sleepy crowd (although the couple that are wide awake could frankly do with a sleeping pill, as they keep asking dumb-ass questions, and are demanding the guide narrate everything we’re passing)

    After an hour, we arrive at Casas del Bosque winery. The cloud that was hanging over the port has vanished now, and I’m feeling distinctly overdressed. The vineyard is set in beautiful grounds, with agapanthuses lining every walkway. Our guide around the winery, Manu, is exceptionally knowledgeable and speaks flawless English. The tour itself is interesting, but having just had a vineyard tour recently, there’s quite an overlap, and if you’re not passionate about growing grapes, then it’s a little repetitive.

    The main event for most people is the wine tasting itself, held in the vast cool cellar. We start with a Sauvignon Blanc, which sits ill with my heartburn. The next two glasses are red, so I hastily empty my glass into Mum’s (I still hate red wine - a drink that looks like fruit juice yet tastes like bitterness and regret). I don’t think I’m cut out for wine tasting. Our guide asks us what our wine smells of. I suspect ‘wine’ wouldn’t be an acceptable answer...

    As the tour comes to an end, we’re ushered through the shop (surprise!), and then back onto the coach for our scenic tour.

    Our tour takes us next to Valparaíso, a coastal city of 284,000 inhabitants. Unfortunately, it seems that we’re to appreciate the sights exclusively through a bus window, which I wasn’t expecting. Thankfully, I’m sat next to the only window that doesn’t have a dark film on it, so at least my pictures won’t be as bad as everyone else’s.

    Valparaíso is certainly a very colourful place, if rather frayed around the edges. It’s known for its street art, and many of the buildings on the surrounding hills are painted in vibrant colours. It’s really annoying that we don’t get chance to get off the bus! Looks like there might be lots of interesting side streets to explore. Much like Salvador in Brazil, the city is split into a lower part, around the port, and the residential districts up on the hills. Locals here must have very good leg muscles. For those that don’t, there are two working funiculars.

    After meandering through the streets of Valparaíso, we leave the city to head a very short distance to its sister city, Viña del Mar. Here they actually do stop the bus for 10 minutes to give us a chance to take a picture of the famous flower clock. Well, bugger that—I’ve gone from 08:30 until mid-afternoon on a sip of dry white wine and I’m feeling quite dehydrated. So, I leg it across the 6-lane road to the beach, as I can see a café in the distance for a much-needed bottle of something chilled. Turns out to be a totally fruitless endeavour though, as on arrival, I ask in my best Spanish if I can pay with US dollars (as we’d been assured on the ship that you can use them everywhere in South America, except for Brazil), only to be told no, Chilean pesos only. I try again and ask if I can pay by card? No. No cards, and no dollars. So, there I am, gazing at a fridge full of deliciously refreshing drinks, with no way of getting hold or one. Dejected, thirsty and very sweaty from my dash, I head stony-faced back to the bus.

    OK, now I’m fuming. Fifteen minutes after the clock stop, we are dumped next to a casino in Viña del Mar for a 40-minute lunch break, for which the tour guide recommends we go into the casino to eat, but warns us that pretty much nowhere around here will take US dollars. So, into the casino we go, or at least we try. We go through security (!), and weave our way through the slot machines, with absolutely no visible clue as to where this restaurant might be. Finally manage to ask someone, who points us into a dead-end corridor. Very helpful. When we finally do find the ‘restaurant’, it’s actually a tiny little bar serving burgers. Now this is where being able to speak—rather than just sort of understand—Spanish would be helpful. We try to order at the bar, but they direct us back to the seats and tell us the waiter will come over. Thing is, he doesn’t. He smiles at us and walks off. After 10 minutes, we abandon hope, as we’ve now only got 20 minutes left to eat and get back to the bus.

    I’d noticed a McDonald across the square, so in desperation we head over there. Big mistake. The queue (as I’m British I’m inclined to call it a queue, but it was more of a rugby scrum) stretches right back to the entrance. We join the nearest line, a little bemused as to why so many people in the queue already seem to have receipts... I can’t see any obvious distinction between the counter and a cash desk, so we persevere. Typically, when we finally get near the front of the queue, the woman in front of us is placing a massive order and is taking a bloody age. And then, just as she’s about to pay, the till crashes and reboots itself. So, she’s now got to order all over again...

    With 3 minutes left before the bus leaves, we have no choice but to abandon our efforts and leave empty handed. No lunch for us. There’s a McCafé opposite, where I manage to swipe a bottle of mineral water, so at least I’ve quenched my thirst. But I don’t like being McTeased, and I’m hangry as f#%k. You wouldn’t like me when I’m hangry!

    I may well eat our tour guide before we finish the 1½ hour drive back to the boat. The excursions desk will be getting a sternly worded letter about time management and misinformation!

    As we drive back down the littler-strewn highway, I must confess myself to be feeling a little dejected by the latter half of this excursion, and sadly quite underwhelmed by this part of Chile. Punta Arenas was beautiful. This certainly isn’t. But one must take the rough with the smooth, I suppose. I can’t expect picture-postcard views at every port. And San Antonio is, regrettably, the very definition of a run-down, one-horse town. And we’re here for another day tomorrow. Maybe Coquimbo will redress the balance.

    Back on the ship, and straight into the Glasshouse for some food, which renders me in a much better mood.

    An afternoon nap is followed by dinner in the Indian restaurant. Excellent food as always in here.
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  • Day34

    San Antonio, Chile

    February 5, 2018 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We spent last night docked up in San Antonio, and will be remaining here until 5pm this evening.

    We’re at a bit of a loss as to what to do today. For once, I’m not exaggerating—there is nothing to do in San Antonio. I’ve found out a little more about the place actually—it was hit by a massive earthquake in 1985, and 80% of the buildings and infrastructure were destroyed, and it was further damaged by another earthquake in 2010. So perhaps my one-horse town comments from yesterday were a little insensitive.

    Still, those facts notwithstanding, it does seem like an odd place to bring a large cruise ship. Sadly, we don’t have any trips further afield planned today either (bit of a cock-up there—we didn’t initially realise we were here for 2 days, and by the time we realised that we’d booked nothing for the second day, all the trips had sold out). Dad keeps trying to float out the idea of going back to yesterday’s winery for lunch, but that might not be all that practical—it‘d be an hour in a taxi from here, and then we’d have to hope we could get back again before the ship leaves.

    So, at least for now, I’m staying in the ship to make use of the fact that at least I have Internet access while we’re docked.

    Often, while we’re in port, the staff use the time to rehearse the emergency drills. We are usually none the wiser, because we’re generally off on a trip somewhere. So, it’s quite a sight to see what’s going on this morning. Today, they’re rehearsing a big one—a fire in the engine room. I was just leaving my room as the drill started, and next thing I know I’m looking at a swift yet sleek procession of the full ship’s company, bedecked in life jackets, sweeping down the stairs. There are 850 staff on board, so I quickly hurry to the lift to get out of their way. Entering the lift at the same time is the ship’s HR manager, who tells me that this is one of the worst scenarios they can plan for, and as such, this hour-long drill is rehearsed every two weeks.

    Just before 1pm, we decide to take a stroll ashore. There’s a mall of sorts a little way along the coastline, so more for some exercise than a great desire to shop, we head off. It’s a 20-minute walk along the dockside to reach the mall, and it’s a fragrant promenade, to say the least, with the day’s catch being gutted and descaled in small huts beneath the walkway. The mall is quite modern, and there’s even a bureau de change, so we can finally swap our seemingly useless US dollars for some Chilean pesos. We hot-foot it to the nearest café, as Dad is gagging for a glass of wine (it’s 1:30pm, after all...), and Mum is keen as mustard to try the local pisco sour.

    By 3:15pm we’ve had our fill of the mall, and so make our way back to the ship, passing little blanket stalls along the promenade, before catching the hopper bus to the ship, for a late lunch.

    At 7pm, we pull out of port, and put San Antonio to our rudder. Not before time. We now have an evening at sea, before arriving at our next port, Coquimbo, early tomorrow morning.
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  • Day102

    San Antonio

    March 19, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    San Antonio ist der größte und wichtigste Hafen Chiles, von hier werden die meisten Güter international verschifft bzw nach Santiago gebracht...

    Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), der berühmteste Poet und Nobelpreisträger Chiles hat sich an diesem wunderbaren Fleck am pazifischen Ozean niedergelassen.
    Ein Besuch in dem seit 1986 bestehenden Neruda-Museum ist eine Pflicht, wo man die Wirkungsstätte des Dichters mitsamt vieler interessanter Ausstellungsstücke besichtigen kann.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

San Antonio Province, Provincia de San Antonio

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