February 4, 2023
Before I write about Arica, I will note the wine tasting experience on our sea day, February 3. The tasting was the “Stars of the Southern Hemisphere”. The head sommelier conducted it and gave us lots of information about the wines, the areas they came from and the food pairings.
Here are the wines:
- Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand (paired with tomato terrine)
- Craggy Ranch Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand (paired with seared tuna)
- Ken Forreste the Gypsy Grenache-Syrah from Stellenbosch, South Africa (paired with duck l’orange)
- Achaval Ferrer Malbec from Mendosa, Argentina (paired with rack of lamb with garlic)
- And Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz (paired with beef terriaki)
Of course I could only eat the first two so I had some cheese and breadsticks and Norm got my meat ones. We enjoyed all of the wines – I would say the Cloudy Bay and the Shiraz were favorites.
In Arica, we did a private tour with Erin and Mui and Sonia and Boris. Our guide was Ronnie. There was a 3 day carnival going on in Arica, the third largest in the world. It was the second of three days so we walked to the church before embarking on the rest of the tour. The festivities just ended at 7:30 AM!! so they were cleaning up the trash but nothing much else was going on yet.
St Mark’s Church and the City Hall were both designed by the architect Eiffel (of Eiffel tower fame) who designed in iron and steel.
Ronnie gave us lots of information about Chile. It was no surprise to learn that it is the longest and thinnest country in the world. Arica lies between the desert and the sea and is the major port for Bolivia which is landlocked.
A part of world history that I apparently missed was about the War of the Pacific during which Chile seized this city from Peru in 1880 being recognized as Chilean by Peru in 1929. The war was over nitrates which were mined here.
We learned about the geoglyphs which date back thousands of years. Here are some you can see on the huge sandy mountains.
This is a part of Chile that is largely desert. We traveled the desert and into the two valleys, Azapa and Lluta. These valleys provide citrus and lemons for export.
A big attraction here is the mummy museum – and it was very interesting. Arica was inhabited by different native groups dating back 10,000 years. These people were the first known culture to mummify their dead, predating the Egyptians by 2000 years. Their mummies have been discovered as recently as 2004 and buried as shallow as less then 1 meter beneath the city’s surface. The minerals in the soil coupled with the careful ways the native people prepared the bodies has allowed them to be excavated and displayed in the museum.
We visited a small church with a very interesting cemetery. The grave markers range from the more quaint to the large building near the back which holds many coffins.
We went to a restaurant where we were served way too much food for lunch – it is their main meal here. We enjoyed it all. The meal started with an aperitif (I got the mango sour) and ended with delicious desserts. We left quite stuffed and I had a only a small scoop of ice cream later for dinner, Norm had a cheese plate.
When we returned to town, the carnival was in full swing. Here is a shot of two women from the front and from the back. The costumes of all were quite something – I wasn’t able to get too many pictures.
Our next port is Iquique, Chile.
Love the updates!!
Love traveling with you. Eat for me too…