Today we docked at Coquimbo, Chile and it’s just the kind of place we LOVE to walk around in. Although it was Sunday, this didn’t seem to bother either the sellers or buyers. Street Markets selling just about everything except appliances were on almost every street, Fish Markets dotted the coast and major department stores were a stone’s throw from the dock.
Julieann decided to take a walk UP the hill – right. I concentrated on the Wi-Fi in the Port Terminal. Houses are built almost straight up from the street on very steep hills. At some points the streets stopped climbing and stairs appeared. Too much for my bad leg, but Julieann had her fun. She even got chased by a couple of dogs and a cat when she crossed into their territory. Wish I could have seen that – haven’t seen a dog move very much in this country. They just “plop” wherever they want and take a snooze. Saw one today that decided the middle of the divided highway was a good place to rest his weary head. Nothing seems to bother them; noise, movement, car crashes, etc. – they just don’t care.
When she finished her walk she joined me at the Terminal for Wi-Fi. When I finally finished my “work” (AKA Journal) we took a three hour walk around the coast and got to visit a whole bunch of street markets (our favorite shops). We made it back to the ship on time and had a nice dinner.
Tomorrow is a Sea Day so I can process our photos and write this. Thanks for traveling with us. Now, here is your history lesson for today:
Coquimbo is a port city, commune and capital of the Elqui Province, located on the Pan-American Highway, in the Coquimbo Region of Chile. Coquimbo is situated in a valley six miles south of La Serena, with which it forms Greater La Serena with more than 400,000 inhabitants. The commune spans an area around the harbor of 552 square miles.
The natural harbor in Coquimbo was taken over by Pedro de Valdivia from Spain in 1550. The gold and copper industry in the region led to the city's importance as a port around 1840 and many Europeans especially from England settled in Coquimbo. In 1879 it was recognized as a town.
The city is an industrial and shipping center. It is growing quickly, registering a 32.8% growth rate from 1992 to 2002. Tourism has started to develop. It is an access point for beach towns to the south, such as Guanaqueros and Tongoy. The port is still important for shipping, especially fruit and copper from mines in the region. Wine is also produced in the area.