Arriving in Matarani
There had been a heavy swell last night, sufficient for the Captain to make an announcement about our arrival into the port of Matarani around lunchtime today. The ship’s stabilisers had been keeping us pretty steady all night although there was a distinct rock and roll vibe going on. The thing is, as we approached the port, these stabilisers would need to be turned off (or pulled in, or whatever one does to stop stablisers working) and when that happened, we’d all notice a difference. So hold tight and hang on!
We’d begun the day with breakfast in our favourite spot, high above the stern wake.
I just love that pattern and find it totally mesmerising.
There was a destination lecture this morning from our favourite expert speaker, so we made a beeline for the theatre to learn a little about Chile, where we arrive tomorrow.
But today, we had one last stop in Peru, at Matarani, which is the nearest port to Arequipa. We were back in our suite when we noticed we were almost there and so gathered cameras and went out onto the verandah to see what was going on.
Well, there was the pilot boat just off our starboard side, below where we were standing.
The pilot himself was up there on the bridge directing things.
We were working out just how we were going to fit into that space in front of us. Matarani isn’t the prettiest of ports and I imagine, not many cruise ships call here, so we were attracting quite a bit of attention.
The bunch of people standing on the end of that breakwater were possibly wondering the same as we were – just how are we going to turn in that tight spot? Or maybe – most probably – they’ve seen it all before.
An assortment of workers dressed in hi-vis clothing and colour coded hard hats were waiting to fulfil their role in the process of getting us secured alongside.
But then the 12 noon lunchtime siren sounded and workers appeared from all over, not wanting to waste a moment of their break, but interested to see what was going on and in some cases, take pictures.
We were enjoying just watching it all, thinking it all looked like a Playmobil set!
Actually, the fun began when the gangplank had been put out and the ground staff were sorting out the arrival area. It had been clear from the beginning that safety was a priority here, evidenced by the hard hats and strict codes of practice followed by every worker. So when a team arrived with a roll of carpet and a set of traffic cones, we knew a plan was in place to ensure that passengers from the ship did not come to any harm in this industrial setting.
Now, it seemed as though a team of Lego people were building their own set, beginning with the welcome sign which had just blown along the dockside in the wind.
We really enjoyed watching each piece be put into place, seeing people working out how best to arrange things, to secure the curly edge of the carpet and yes, to stop that flipping welcome sign blowing away again!
When they finished, they stood back and admired their handiwork having weighted the welcome sign down with some wooden blocks, too). We thought they’d done a great job as well and were tempted to give them a round of applause but didn’t want to be cheeky!
If they had finished making the gangplank and everything secure, then it must be nearly time for us to go as well, so we gathered our stuff and made our way to the theatre to collect our tickets for our journey to see the Ice Maiden Mummy substitute in Arequipa this afternoon. Juanita, the Ice Maiden Mummy herself was undergoing restoration in a freezer somewhere else, so instead, we were going to take a look at a slightly less impressive Mummy by the name of La Sarita. Hey ho – whatevs.
I’ll tell you how we got on in the next post.