7 minute video of the beautiful glaciers on the Beagle Canal.
11 minute video of Punta Arenas, Chile.
9 minute video of my journey to the Otway Sound Penguin Colony in southern Chile.
Hello from Patagonia!|
It was a spectacular sail out of Ushuaia last night. I'm not sure if it was still the Beagle Canal we were sailing through or some other fjord but it was beautiful. It was a nice clear night as we sailed down the fjord with the mountains towering above us. When we were about three or four hours out of Ushuaia and the sun was setting we passed by five breath taking glaciers all named after countries. I think the time of day added to the beauty of the place. It was so peaceful and quiet as we sailed past these huge glaciers and towering mountains with the sun setting behind us. I sat on my balcony for over an hour until it got completely dark and I couldn't see any more.
We spent all day today in Punta Arenas, Chile. We got here about 90 minutes late this morning due to being late leaving Ushuaia late yesterday afternoon. It was a beautiful morning when we sailed into Punta Arenas about 8:30 this morning. The local dolphin community was in the harbor to greet us. There must have been a hundred of them. They were everywhere. Later when we were tendering to shore there were dolphins swimming beside the tender just inches from the window. I think they wanted to race.
When I got to shore I took a tour of the city. This city claims to be the southern most city in the world also. They say Ushuaia is only a town and they are a city with more than 100,000 people.
We got a nice view of the city and the Star Princess achored out in the Strait of Magellan from Mirador Cerro la Cruz.
We made a stop at Museo Del Recuerdo. This is a farming museum on the outskirts of town.
We visited the Cemetery of Punta Arenas, which was the most beautiful cemetery I have ever seen. The cemetery has been ranked by CNN as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.
We visited the main town square which hosts the Memorial to Ferdinand Magellan.
Across the street from the town square is the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Later this afternoon I went out to Otway Sound Penguin Colony. That was a big disappointment. Took 90 minutes on gravel roads to get there and only saw a few penguins. Not nearly as nice as Gypsy Cove in the Falkland Islands when we saw thousands of them.
This was our last port before the end of the cruise. We have three sea days now sailing north to Santiago. We will cruise through the Chilean Fjords on the way.
42 minute complete video of Tierra del Fuego.
3 minute video of the Chilean Fjords.
I wouldn't have written today except for the fact that I purchased 250 minutes of Internet time and I only have 3 days left on the ship to use it up. Gloomy and rainy this morning as we sail north up the coast of Chile. Have been in the Pacific Ocean overnight. At 11:00am as I am writing this the Captain is just now pulling the ship into the inner passage of the Chilean Fjords to get out of the rough seas for a while. He says we will remain inside until about 8:00 this evening when we will once again go back into the Pacific. If some of these clouds lift he says it will be scenic, but it's doubtful that the weather will improve much.
10 minute video of the Captain's farewell remarks & the champagne waterfall.
This is the second of three sea days on our way to Valparaiso/Santiago for disembarkation. Yesterday we were able to see a little of the Chilean Fjords through the clouds, rain and gale force winds.
I am not complaining about the weather though. For the most part the weather has been great the entire trip. If I can get just a little good weather at Machu Picchu to end the trip, I will be a very happy camper.
We are back out in the Pacific Ocean and will remain here for the duration of the cruise. The next time we see land will be Monday morning when we get off the boat. We apparently have a critically ill passenger on board. They were pleading for some one with the correct blood type to donate blood for a transfusion. I don't know if they ever found one or the fate of the passenger.
11 minute video of Luis Viana & Sasha Scott in El Gaucho.
10 minute video of comedian George Orange.
11 minute video of Canadian singer Lovena B. Fox.
This is the last day of the cruise. Last night was the farewell party and the champagne waterfall. The captain gave his farewell speech. Tomorrow morning we dock in Valparaiso, I am scheduled to get off the ship at 9:15 and join my land tour to Machu Picchu. It is about a 90 minute drive to Santiago from the port. We are supposed to tour the city before retiring to the hotel for the evening.
Tuesday we fly to Lima, Peru. It is a 3 or 4 hour flight. We tour Lima and spend the night. Wednesday it is back to the airport for the third day in a row for our flight to Cusco. The plane doesn't have to descend much to get into Cusco. The town has an elevation of about 10,000 feet. We spend Wednesday night in Cusco. Then Thursday is our scenic journey to Machu Picchu by train. It's an all day excursion, takes about 15 hours round trip. Friday I fly back to Lima for my final night of the trip before flying home Saturday.
4 minute video of Valparaiso, Chile as seen through a bus window.
9 minute video of Santiago, Chile.
Last we talked was the day before I got off the ship. It has not been a whole lot of fun since then. Sat in the lounge on the ship for three hours before they finally let us off the ship. Got off the ship in Valparaiso, Chile. Met up with the group which is taking the Machu Picchu post-cruise tour. There are only about 30 of us, a much smaller group than the pre-cruise tour. The first thing we did was drive around Valparaiso for what seemed like forever and then finally headed toward Santiago, a 90 minute drive. We got to our hotel in Santiago around 3:00. At 4:00 we had a city tour of Santiago. Again most of that was spent on the bus. We only got off twice and one of those stops was at a jewelry store. And the guide spoke almost no English, so most of the time we had no idea what he was saying. So the only decent stop made during the entire day was when we rode the funicular up to Cerro San Cristóbal where we got a nice view of Santiago. Below are three pictures from there.
We went to dinner at 8:00, got back to the hotel at 10:00. And then came the good news. We had to meet in the lobby at 4:30 A.M. to goto the airport.
Today's flight to Lima, Peru went smoothly except for the ungodly hour we had to wake up. Got to our hotel here in Lima at 11:00 this morning. This city is huge, over 8 million people. We are on our own until tomorrow morning when it is back to the airport again for the flight to Cusco.
Then Thursday is the all day trip to Machu Picchu by train. It better be a spectacular trip to be worth the 3 day travel ordeal it took to get there.
Sorry I didn't include a picture of the jewelry store, I know you probably wanted to see that.
I will write from Cusco if I have Internet, if not I'll be home soon and you won't have to read any more boring emails from me until China in October.
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