All ashore

Now the Wolfs are back on land after our 14 day cruise where we lapped the coastlines of South America, explored some pretty exotic ports (Montevideo, Uruguay), were awed at remoteness of the Falkland Islands, visited with some penguins and sailed around Cape Horn. I hear Alaskan cruises are beautiful but this was spectacular. Who knew there were Chilean fjords? And blue glaciers. We felt very lucky because frequently some of the ports of call on this itinerary need to be cancelled because of weather but we hit all our destinations. Not every day was sunny and not every day was smooth sailing but we did not have to dip into the Dramamine supply I had along. However, those passengers who had signed up to take the $3800/per person excursion to Antarctica for one day (flight and day tour) were mightily disappointed since our 6-12 foot waves and foggy conditions cancelled their hopes and dreams. Me, I was perfectly happy to see the penguins in the Falklands.

On February 8 we navigated towards Hornos Island and earned our certificate validating our “rounding Cape Horn.” We’re so proud and documentation can be produced upon request. There is so much about the S. American continent that I didn’t know and this trip has been an expansion of my world view. I’ve come away with an incredible respect for our early expeditionary sailors. I was on a replica of the HMS Beagle which demonstrated what life was like for those explorers. All I could imagine was how bad they smelled; no showers, bad food, rough seas… for years. I don’t know which is worse, being a sailor or being on the dock welcoming one home.

My cruise log from the voyage announces that we sailed 3981.6 nautical miles; that equates to 4582 statute miles. I didn’t know there was a difference. And I’m convinced that 2016 was the year for me to round the Horn—pretty sure 1856 wouldn’t have been a good year.

I think we did a pretty extensive tour from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Valpariso, Chile. I’ve no expertise but I feel better educated about this part of the world. We visited the town of Trelew. a bus ride from Puerto Madryn which was originally settled by Welsh so there are signs in town with unpronounceable consonants strung together and a fabulous dinosaur museum. Really! All the grandparents take note for future expeditions with young children.

And South America like the US and Canada and Australia has a mixture of indigenous and immigrant populations trying to meld together. Naturally, a lot of Spanish and significant Welsh, German, Italian, British and Croatian populations. We visited the town of Frutillar in Chile where we could sample strudel and they host a German music festival every year. Who knew?

One of our last ports Ushuaia, Argentina, recognized that the population was small so they imported convicts to build the railroad to transport the lumber to build the town. We rode on the train labeled the Tren fin del mundo thru landscape gorgeous with tree stumps, evidence of the convict’s labor. The taller stumps showed the depth of snow in the winter. Shorter stumps were made during the summer months. By the way, we were there in a southern hemisphere summer; it was 47 degrees F.

It was a fascinating trip that I would recommend for all. All ashore for Santiago next. Thinking of you all.

All ashore photo link

Explanation: Titanic preparedness.  Town square: Montevideo, Uraguay.  Penguins, Bus trip to Trelew. Welsh signage in Trelew, Patagonia, Argentina. Dinosaurs in Argentina. Margaret Thatcher. Falkland War Memorial. Stanley Post Office. Falkland War remnants with penguins on a beach. We are here. Super Bowl Sunday with friends. View asea. Where we were. Andes mountain from our port hole. Historic train at the end of the earthx3.  Southernmost golf course in Ushuaia. King Crab lunch. Liz with friends. Ushuaia convict roots. Replica Spanish galleon. Search mission onboard HMS Beagle? Star Princess. Making music in Puerto Montt, Chile. 5K deck walk on Star Princess for Race for the Cure, Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

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