Posted by: powellpjc | March 2, 2010

Life in General


I haven’t posted anything for a few months.
That is partly becuase I know you want to know nothing about my life down here in Chile. Not really.
And I don’t want to be responsible for a swamp of despair that will surely overwhelm youse suffering the long dark back in the Great White when you find out.
Suffice to say my life is gracious and righteous.
It involves the delightful combination of booze, guns, seafood, people, flying and napping–and not in that order. I have put on at least 10 lbs since I arrived here in October 2009 so you know booze and napping are high on the list.
The flying was great in October, November and December but has tailed off in the New Year. Some days it is a struggle to get to the beach, some days we are sky gods climbing 1000 metres over the sea and some days I don’t fly at all.
The town is a mecca for foreign paragliders escaping the N. Hemisphere winter. They come from Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and anywhere else you can think of.
The beaches have been full with tourists from Santiago and Argentina. The ocean is not tropical enough to really enjoy (except for kids, who know no better) but a seaside anywhere is a magnet for holidaygoers. It offers a limitless view of the horizon, a constant source of soothing, wanderlust and mindless dreaming. I have been staring at it for months. I should know.
But a few details.
1. I need mosquito nets at night on the boat. The little bastards (smaller than our Canadian sisters) sneak aboard at night and bite with no sound or warning. I wake scratching–I have no antibodies to these South American beasts.
2. Suntan lotion is expensive and I need a lot of it.
3. The city is dirty. There is a fallout of diesel/fish processing/sand dust/ every day and night. This place is filthy.
4. I am surrounded by foreigners. Even the dogs understand Spanish.
Those are are few downsides to living in Iquique, N. Chile.
Now, the upsides.
No heating and no air-conditioning needed.
The flying (paragliding) can be great.
Food (fish) is fresh and great.
While it is not cheap cheap, everything is less expensive than Canada. For instance, you can have a nice lunch of homemade soup, fish with rice and salad for $4.00. Add a beer (1/2 litre) for $2.00. You can buy a fresh mahi-mahi, 3 kg and have it cleaned before your eyes. $4.00.

This is Mr. Mahi-mahi before the knife.

Little tub of ceviche is $2.00.

Takeout ceviche. Raw fish (mahi-mahi) in lime juice, peppers and onions.

The bus costs $1.00 to go anywhere and taxis (collectivos-shared taxi) are also $1.00 flat rate.
The folk (with a few acceptions) are friendly, helpful and welcoming.
I will stay here until April, waiting out the South Pacific cyclone season, and head to Easter Island/Pitcairn Island when it is safe and thence to Tahiti.
I love it here in spite of the inconveniences. Truth be told, if I weren’t a flyer I would flee tomorrow.

Here are some more of my neighbours in Iquique

Schlepping the ice aboard a fisher boat.

Don't know what kind of bird this is but he has dramatic colours.

This guy watches very carefully.

Jellyfish. Medusa, in Spanish. Dangerous in either lingo.

A skinhead buzzard. "I am watching you."

Mr. Pelican plummeting.

This is what you call sticking your neck out, but a bird's gotta eat.

Next: 1. The big fish killoff in the harbour 

2.The Dakar comes to town. I’m talking about the rally.

 3. Boxing night in Iquique

4. How do you spell ‘sooonammmmiiiiiiii’  ?????



  1. Could we please have some pics of the other sort of BIRDS——–great to be back armchairing it in Chile—-TW

  2. hey buddy what are your plans? Still headed west with Ulic? I drop you an email a few days back. i checked flights to Easter island suffice to say I could fly around the world 1st class cheaper. lemme know whst you plans are

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