Loc: Yacht Club Iquique
Acc: Robert und Monica’s home
Dist: 61,3 km
Start: 7:05 End: 18:00
no paddling tomorrow
After my last night’s update, we got some late night’s visitors at 9.30 pm – a local guard with two crabineros for a checkup. Does now not only the Navy look after us almost all day, but now also the police? Well, another local mentioned there is no camping allowed on this beach after we already had well set up! When he was gone, he seemed to be all right with us camping for one night! Still someone must have called the carabineros…
Actually they were all very friendly and just wanted to talk to the Navy first if our water travel was all right, then they asked or our passports to check if we were wanted to have done any crime…but obviously they came back content that we are honest foreigners, and there was no talk about no camping for the night at this spot. So we could have a nice night’s sleep, watched by the police now…
We launched very early next morning, as the planned paddle of the day was another 60 km+. But all was easy going! A few more headlands with many more seals, plus there came the airport close by which kept us entertained. A bunch of fat jet planes flew right over our head in, which was almost a bit scary!
Iquique was appearing slowly out of the mist, and soon we could make out the headland with the container harbor. One huge container ship was just leaving west, probably heading directly to China. The headland itself was unspectacular, no seals, no swell, no birds, just containers piling up.
We slowly paddled around into the harbor, and noticed Iquique had one of the largest fishing fleets of Chile! Many, many big boats, plus a bunch of smaller ones, pilot boats, tug boats, yachts and even a huge three masts sail boat displayed on land.
Robert and Monica, our Iquique hosts, were already waiting for us at the Yacht Club jetty. They contacted us online, like most of our hosts, in the modern way! They own a sailboat themselves which found only space in Antofagasta.
We drove to their fancy apartment building, which was located in the south of Iquique, right at the coast, built on a rock.They gave us a perfect hotel-like room and bathroom for ourselves in their large apartment in the 14th floor. Thanks very much! The first thing I noticed were a few vultures flying right in front of our window with sea view…fortunately they were hindered to land on the balcony by a few wires!
We had a great yummy barbecue after the always enjoyable hot shower. Thanks for hosting us so nicely, Monica and Robert! It is a pleasure to be back to sophisticated European standard living after our many gypsy beach camps!