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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Coquimbo, Chile

Jan 22, 2013 - Piscoleros unite!

Interesting day today. We became Piscoleros! The highlight of our day was a trip to the Elqui Valley and a Pisco distillery. Pisco is the national drink of Chile – but don’t tell that to the Peruvians, they think they own Pisco. Pisco is the distilled spirit of Pisco wine. Let’s see, wine typically has about 12%-15% alcohol. Table wine is really just grape juice that has been injected with yeasts and allowed to ferment. The fermentation process converts the sugar in the grape juice to alcohol and, voila, you have wine. In the case of the...

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Dec 21, 2012 - Coquimbo, La Serena, Elqui Valley

Very few passengers have a full nights sleep due to the rough seas. Some waves hit the ship so hard it would wake you up. This is the last day for some of our fellow passengers who will disembark in Valpariso tomorrow. Continuation cards have been issued to those staying on, and we have progressed from Gold to Platinum membership which is 5 or more cruises or more than 50 days at sea on vessels of the Princess Line. I think it means you are targeted more often for drinks, photographs and stuff. We travelled by bus to La Serena then up the...

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Jul 22, 2012 - La Serena, Valle del Elqui

Hahaha on vous a bien eus ! On voulait tester votre perspicacité et tout le monde est tombé dans le piège :-) quand on ne vous dit pas de chercher Gilbette, vous ne la voyez pas, personne ne l'a aperçue à San Pedro ! Notre dernier arrêt avant d'arriver à Santiago était La Serena d'où nous sommes partis pour Pisco Elqui dans la Valle del Elqui. A notre arrivée à La Serena, nous étions un peu déçus, car nous étions sous le brouillard. Mais c'est normal sur la côte car c'est lié à l'évaporation de l'eau de mer et nous avons quand même eu du...

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Mar 4, 2012 - Coquimbo & La Serena, Chile

Today we decided to take the ship’s shuttle bus from the port town of Coquimbo, Chile to the town of La Serena, Chile. This is about a 25 minute ride and we were dropped in the town square. It is Sunday so most of the traditional retail shops are closed. However, the craft market is open for part of the day mainly because our ship is in town. These ports do not get cruises ships every week. Mostly they have a season where the ships are transitioning from one part of the world to another and there will be a few ships here and there over the...

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May 9, 2011 - Cycling 25km (I think)

So today has been really fun. The majority of our group went on a day trip to the Elqui Valley, however, it was rather expènsive so I along with two others (Jonny and Braidon) decided to hire bikes for the day. We cycled from La Serena to Coquimbo. Google maps claims this was only 5km (straightest route), however, we are all positive it was about 25km. Our route took us through heavy traffic at the beginning. This was very scary as I have not ridden on roads in about 15 years (Mummy, I did wear a helmet). Then we had a pleasant 5km ride...

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May 9, 2011 - Stargazing

Last night was spectacular. We all travelled to Mamalluca Observatory, about an hour away from La Serena. There we spent three hours looking at the stars and planets through a series of telescopes. The astronomer who took us around was excellent and gave us a very good and complex lecture on constellations, dark matter, the universe etc. I got to view the Moon and Saturn through scientific telescopes and I even got to see the Southern Cross, a constellation only visible from the Southern Hemisphere. At the end, she showed us this...

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May 8, 2011 - The best bus ride ever

I spent today travelling between Santiago and La Serena. The bus was better than anything I´ve ever been on in England. You get provided with blankets and pillows and the seats recline into beds! Had the Notebook on in the background. Amazing. The scenery was beautiful, mountains everywhere. In La Serena now. It is a pretty seaside town with lots of colonial architecture. We walked about a bit, had dinner and were going to go to an observatory (apparently this is one of the best places in the world to see the stars!) However, it is too...

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Mar 6, 2011 - Northern Chile - Day 3

Today we had another dull day of driving! We travelled down to Vicuña in the Elqui Valley, via La Serena which we only briefly stopped at. but a really beautiful city from the quick glance we had! Then entered into the Elqui Valley - Chilean Wine Country! So many many vineyards around, either for the wine or Pisco Distilleries. There is quite a big water problem in this area however, and it was amazing to see how they attached netting around the grape plants to 'catch' the water from the fog when it rolls in. I found this fascinating! We...

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Mar 5, 2011 - Pisco Elqui

March 2 After lunch today, I took a small bus to the village of Pisco Elqui in the Elqui Valley. The name is not a coincidence. This region is a major producer of pisco, the strong grape-based liqueur used to make pisco sour, a popular drink found throughout Peru and Chile. In fact the climate in this region (sunny and dry) is ideal for growing grapes. Besides using them to make pisco and wine, grapes are exported abroad . Pisco Elqui is about 2 hours from La Serena, driving west toward the Andes. From the town, the mountains look close...

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Mar 4, 2011 - Northern Chile

We set out from San Pedro with a new group, only 3 others and all German, and about 35ish. So a slightly quieter group than yesterdays! During our second day we did quite a lot of driving! But in between this we visited a ghost town, and saw where the border between Chile and Bolivia had been at the coast, before the war. The second night of this trip was spent on the beach. We all had a BBQ and camped. Was really nice actually, first beach-camping experience, and Marco (the driver) and Danny (guide) did the cooking which was soo tasty!...

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Mar 2, 2011 - La Serena

February 28 I arrived in La Serena late yesterday afternoon after 7.5 hours on a bus (including a half hour lunch stop). By car, La Serena is only about 5 hours from Valparaiso along a highway, but we made several stops during the first couples of hours to pick up more passengers. After the lunch break, the landscape became very dry (a semi-desert). La Serena seems impossibly quaint after the grittiness of Valparaiso. I went walking around the main plaza yesterday evening (Sunday), where some kind of old fashion music played while families...

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May 20, 2010 - lost in de city

uitslapen en een beetje shoppen in de stad, internetcafe gezocht om eens naar Marije te kunnen bellen.uiteindelijk 1 gevonden dat werkte alleen had ik geen flauw benul waar ik was en was het stadsplan vergeten op mijn kamer. toen ik terugwou naar het hotel begon het al te schemeren, denk dat ik daarna nog heel serena heb gezien. uiteindelijk toch in hotel geraakt net op tijd om mee te gaan lunchen.daarna met een paar flessen vodka bij de hand nog een paar drankspelletjes gespeeld op het terras, rond 3 uur in bed want om 8 uur vertrokken we...

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