Above Iquique: Alto Hospicio

appearance of reality

Along Dragon Hill the road turns 90 degrees toward the east, becoming the “Rutas del Desierrto,” shortly, the Alto Hospicio comes into view, a municipality and commune separate from and above Iquique on the desert plain, “the pampa.” The miners who lived and worked at Humberstone, the World Heritage Site we will visit, were called “pampino salitrero.”

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COLEGIO MACAYA is an Urban school located in ALTO HOSPICIO, province of IQUIQUE.. Av. la Pampa 3755, Alto Hospicio, Tarapacá, Chile

Alto Hospicio in 2012 was home to 94,254 souls, as a rapidly growing area there were more this February, 2016. The Colegio Macaya of the photograph, rising above ramshackle dwellings of improvised materials, is an elementary school, near as I can tell with my rudimentary knowledge of the Spanish language.

Proximity to Iquique and its port, its road connectivity to inland roads to large mining centers in Arica-Parinacota, Tarapacá and Atacama regions, was well as cheap land, make this district a strategic link for industry and mining service-rendering companies. Iquique Duty Free Zone has 316 acres in behind this sign where better and seventy (70) percent of revenues are derived.

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Wikipedia – “Alto Hospicio“.

Web site: https://www.zofri.cl/en-us/Inversiones/ParqueEmpresarial-AltoHospicio/Pages/Home.aspx

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Iquique first steps

On Dry Land

Our tour tickets and bus designation ( “number 2” ) firmly in hand, Pam and I walked the gangplank from the tender (see yesterday’s post), into the Iquique International Cruise terminal, then out to the sunshine to find out bus, following the crowd.

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Downtown High rises soar above downtown

Touring this way can feel link a rodent maze, it was not our feeling at all. The groups maxed at 15, the guides friendly and knowledgeable, the tour buses luxurious. We enjoyed ourselves immensely. Here we are, later that day, dressed for adventure.

Mike and Pam Wills on tour at the Pintados Geoglyphs, Tarapacá, Chile within the Atacama desert.

Our itinerary for the day is to navigate through the city, across the desert to visit a World Heritage Site, Humberstone, and ancient geoglyph sites, touching on local ecology.

Another view of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception among the downtown high-rises of Iquique.

Here is our tour, time to hop on the bus, get going.

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Here is a slide show of our day so far.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Iquique Tender Views

From Ship to Shore

Ninety minutes after docking our assigned tender pulled away from the Regatta for a twenty minute trip to Iquique. A tender is a boat with an enclosed seating area designed to transport about twenty persons in quiet waters from an anchorage to port. I recall the morning announcement from the ship Captain advising use the winds were high (or the waves), and he negotiated a mooring with the port, instead of the planned docking, in order to save our visit to Iquique.

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The approximate anchorage of the Regatta marked with a pushpin. The tender transported use from the Regatta to the base of the island port.

Above is a screen capture from Google Earth, the entire Iquique harbor is pictured from Punta Negra (see photo from yesterday) to the base of the island port connected to the mainland with a road. The tender port is at this base, on the shore side. If you wish, download the following PDF document with a clearer image. You will need a PDF viewer.

Shipping containers being unloaded from the container ship San Christobal.

Here are some of the sights visible from the tender. I recall sitting next to the large rear window. Above is the large red container ship. From earlier posts, the San Christobal is docked at the outer berth. The ship is being unloaded, you can see a yellow shipping container on the crane.

Today, aneconomic reason for Iquque’s prosperity is the status as a duty free zone the government dubbed “ZOFRI.” Another is tourists flocking to this “Miami of South America” for duty free shopping (there is a mall), the shore lined with tall hotels and condominiums. Adventure-seekers love the surfing and hang gliding from the escarpment.

Notice the fishing nets in the stern with yellow floats

This is the scene close to the tender port, past mooring for smaller fishing and other boats.

Replica of the Chilean navy ship Esmeralda sunk during the Battle of Iquique. It is a nautical “living museum.” From the website: “The museum script of the Museum ‘Emerald Corvette’ is represented by thirteen museum scenes that inspire the guided tour, where it was recreated what life was like on board on May 20, 1879, the day before the historic Pacific War day.” The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is to the right of the ship stern. Here is a previous post with more about the Esmeralda in historical context.

After disembarkation, I looked back for this shot of our tender pilot.

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Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved