Day 17...Cruise to South America...Part 1...Arica, Chile...The cruise continues...

Christmas tree in Colon Park with St. Mark's Cathedral (San Marcos)l in the background.
"Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising"
Buses arrived at the port to take passengers on tours.
With almost two weeks remaining for this cruise, we continue to find we've had no problem having stories to share with so many ports of call and the opportunity to experience activities we've thoroughly enjoyed.

Government building in Arica, Chile near the port.
Now that the second round of passengers have boarded the ship and become settled since yesterday's embarkation, we're meeting many more interesting travelers all with their own unique stories to tell.

From this site:  "History goes that during the War of the Pacific (1879-1880) the Morro de Arica was taken by Chilean troops in a heroic deed after only one hour of fighting against the Peruvian-Bolivian army. This historical feat took place on June 7, 1880, and ever since has marked the northern territorial boundaries of the country.   Today, over one century after such epic event, visitors only need to go up the almost 200 meters rising from the sea in order to behold the enormous City of Arica. Whoever hit the summit of this morro in those days would immediately gain control of the city. There were many casualties. In a matter of minutes, almost 2 thousand soldiers from both sides lost their life."

Another view of the Morro of Arica from the Plaza Colon where we wandered around the park.
Yesterday, at the prearranged luncheon for the 273 back-to-back passengers, by chance we ran into a couple we'd heard about, Nancy and Bob, about our ages, who've also been traveling the world for the past five years.  What a coincidence!

Statue in the park.
Like us, they sold everything they owned but, unlike us, their choice of locations and accommodations are quite different from ours. Those facts made our conversation about our mutual travels all the more fascinating. 

A pond in the park occupied by dozens of seagulls.
Of course, we never expected that other long-term travelers would do it just like us. Although, there were many commonalities that made the four of us laugh out loud during our two-hour lunch in the dining room.

We stopped to see a nativity scene in the park.
Actually, Nancy and Bob are the first couple we've met that have been traveling as long as we have. We've met many couples who are currently beginning their journey or have plans to do so in the near future. 

Another view of St. Mark's Cathedral in Arica, Chile.
We all reveled in our bravery in making this type of life possible, required by letting go of everything and everyone we all knew and loved and releasing a life of comfort and familiarity for the vast unknown.
Santa Teresita de Los Andes statue in San Marcos Church.
With no complimentary cocktail party last night for the Captain's Club members and without the fine companionship of Lisa and Barry, we went about meeting new people both in the dining room and later in the popular Ice Bar. 

 A confessional.
It's unlikely we'll find another couple with whom we were so well matched like Lisa and Barry, but still, the conversations and camaraderie we're finding with others will continue to be a great source of quality time spent on the second half of this cruise.

The main aisle in the church.
Finally, last night, for the first night in two weeks, I slept over seven hours feeling like a new person today.  Those 2:00 am bedtimes are not for the faint of heart and I often wonder if I'm a little too old for such late nights.

Wood side door.
Tom seems to thrive regardless of how much sleep he gets or doesn't get.  On the other hand, I am five years older than him which may make a difference to some degree.

I'm late in preparing today's post and apologize to our dear readers for lagging behind. This morning we attended at 9:15 am CruiseCritic Meet and Greet arriving late to begin the day's post.

Decorative statue in San Marcos Church.
Shortly, thereafter, once we were situated in the cafe we became engrossed in conversation with a lively pair while working on the post; a friendly grandfather and his lovely 31-year old granddaughter.  How wonderful to see them cruising together!

We have no big plans for this afternoon, another day at sea.  Surely, we'll chat with other passengers as we lounge at the comfy table for four in the cafe, an easy invitation for two others to join us.  This is one of our favorites on board past times...meeting new people along with others we've already met.

View to the park from the interior of the church.
It's considerably more fun than playing shuffleboard, bingo or learning to dance the merengue, all of which are offered on today's list of available activities. The ship's Emporium area, packed with a variety of shops with pricey cruise fare holds little interest to either of us even during their 50% off sales which seem to be conducted daily.

Tonight, at 5:00 pm, we'll head to the happy hour in the Constellation Lounge and by 7:15 or so we'll get in line for a shared table for dinner in the Trellis Restaurant.  Oddly, we're never bored and always able to find ways to keep ourselves engaged and entertained, regardless of how we spend our time aboard the ship.

May you have a pleasing day engaged and entertained!                                                     
Photo from one year ago today, December 9, 2016:
Many possible holiday gifts were  available at the Makers Workshop in Burnie, Tasmania.  For more details, please click here.


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