Golden Princess Part Two - Valparaiso to Acapulco
Having missed the Cruise Critic get together that I had arranged, due to the chaos at the embarkation, we settled in with our reduced table of 8 for the remainder of the cruises, moving from the Donatello down to the Bernini with our waiters Antonio and Placido. They were a real treat, and we were almost nightly provided with some special surprise not on the regular menu.
The next day was Coquimbo for La Serena. There was a shuttle from the pier to La Serena, which is a pretty, compact town with a very well done Archaeological Museum and a large open air market. There are a few buildings of the colonial era and a university. The university freshmen were undergoing some sort of initiation ritual which required them to paint their faces and clothing and ask for money from everyone in town which added a little spice to an otherwise unremarkable stop. We did view the museum which has one of several moai, or heads, from Easter Island. Each one (there was one in front of the archeology museum on the Valparaiso stop as well) purports to be the only head available to be seen off the island, but the one in La Serena looked to be authentic and there were photographs of the removal from Easter Island. My only issue with this very good set of ethnographic displays was the lack of any English translation materials. My high school Spanish wasn't really up to doing justice to the narrative, but I was able to at least puzzle out some of the information. The market was a bit of a mixed bag, with some very nice jewelry places and a lot of the usual 'made for tourists' stuff that we saw everywhere.