Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Puerto Montt, Chile

Today we are sharing pictures of Puerto Montt, Chile. We were a little lazy about getting off the boat this morning. It was April 6th which was Good Friday. We figured the town would be pretty quiet and we were right.

Here is Chuck still on the boat watching the tourists board their tour bus for a pre-planned excursion.

This is group 6. They are heading to their preassigned bus.

One nice thing about it being a holiday was that all the colorfully painted fishing boats were still resting at home. I would say there is quite a tide in this location.

We took a taxi into the city of Puerto Montt. Sure enough, practically everything was closed. We walked around the town enjoying the plazas. I am including the picture below special for Dad Watson and our friend Noi. Chuck's father is a long time member of the Rotary. And, Noi lives in Cheng Mai, Thailand. Noi is the president of the Cheng Mai Rotary International. Noi and her husband, Vera visited Chuck and I about a year ago. We miss you Noi and Vera, hope to see you again soon.

Here is Chuck looking back over the city.

One thing we did find open was the supermarket. We enjoyed walking through and comparing their meat and produce to ours. Would you believe that Chuck is holding a lemon? One lemon would make a whole pie!!!

I went back to the boat early. Chuck stayed ashore and continued to explore. He found an outdoor market with tons of stalls.....all selling tourist "stuff."

Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

Our next stop was Puerto Chacabuco. Chuck and I hired an English speaking taxi driver to tour us around the area. Here we are at a waterfall.

The scenery was gorgeous. This picture reminds me of British Columbia in Canada.

The city we were visiting was nestled into the center of these ranges.

Speaking of ranges... when we were in the city we went shopping. I found these brand new wood burning (or maybe coal) stoves for sell.

Here is Chuck doing tourist shopping.

These trees were turning their fall colors. It boogles the mind when the calendar says it is the end of March.

One more picture that reminds me of Canada.

Next time I will share pictures from Puerto Montt, Chile.

Punta Arenas, Chile

Today I am sharing pictures from Punta Arenas, Chile. This first picture was taken by our tour guide. We were overlooking the city. It looks like I am having my picture made with Santa Claus.

One big attraction in this city is their cemetery. This was the first place the tour guide wanted to show us. It is laid out like a small city. The structures are quite elaborate. Here is Chuck looking at one of the monuments.

This picture is of the statue in Plaza Munoz Gomero. This monument is dedicated to Magellan, the discoverer of the Strait of Magellan. We made our stop in Punta Arenas while going through the Strait of Magellan.

And this picture is a candid shot I made of two men enjoying spending time together in the park.

More photos next time.

Chilean Fjords

Today I will share pictures of our journey through the Chilean Fjords. All of us passengers and some of the crew were out on the different decks to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Although I have not done it, I was told by fellow passengers who have, that it was similar to going through the inside passage of Alaska. This certainly makes me want to take the Alaska cruise sometime in the future.

We were bundled up even though it was a sunny day. Here is Chuck with a beach towel on his head to keep from getting sunburned.

What can I say? I don't have words to describe the beauty.

The captain of the boat detoured from the appointed route so that he could show us this special glacier. It was huge. The small dot in the water is a tender boat that went out from our ship.

Here is a close up of the glacier. Yes, it was actually this blue. We were told it is this color because the ice in the glacier absorbs all the color spectrums of the light from the sun except the blue which it reflects.

It was just awesome!

These photos speak for themselves.

We may have to do this cruise again!

Next I will share pictures from our first stop in Chile, Punta Aranes.

Ushuaia, Argentina

Our next port of call was in Ushuaia, Argentina. Ushuaia is southernmost city in the world. We woke up to a beautiful sun shinny day. This first picture is of Ushuaia taken from the boat.

We took a city tour by bus which lasted about an hour. After the city tour we still had lots of time before our boat sailed. Chuck suggested since the weather was so nice we should go to the local airport and rent a plane to take us up for a view of the area. Here we are with our plane. Of course a pilot came with the plane.

Here is Chuck enjoying the view.

This is a picture of Ushuaia from the air. Our ship is the white blob in the middle of the picture.

We flew over the mountains and viewed the next valley. It was beautiful scenery.

Before we landed I asked the pilot to buzz our boat so that I could get a picture of it from the air.

After our adventure in the air we walked back to the ship. We had a wonderful day. It was our last stop in Argentina. I took this last picture from the boat deck before we sailed away.

The next day we enjoyed sailing through the Chilean Fjords. I will share those pictures with you next time.

Falkland Islands

Our next stop was the Falkland Islands. The Falkland Islands are located in the South Atlantic approximately 300 miles from east of the South American coast. The majority of the 2,350 people who live in the islands are of British descent. 1980 live in the capital, Stanley, and the remainder live in settlements or on family farms around the islands. English is the spoken language.

This is the only stop that we made where we had to get off the ship into smaller boats to be tendered to shore. I snapped this picture of Chuck just as we got on the dock. We arrived in Stanley.

We went on a tour to see penguins. The tour included riding in 4 wheeled vehicles across the road. We got bogged down in the mud and had to be pulled out. What an adventure!

The adventure was well worth the effort. We say more penguins than we could count. They were everywhere!

The weather was extremely cold and windy. I included this picture of Chuck. See his pants legs blowing? The wind was very cold. We really felt like we were at the bottom of the world.

This landmark is located in downtown Stanley. It is made from whale ribs. This monument was built in 1933 to commemorate the centenary of the colony as a British possession.

Chuck and I went into a local grocery store. I saw this can of beans on the shelf. I had to include it because this the name of one of my favorite movies.

After we left the Falkland Islands we went around Cape Horn. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures to show you because we made the cape about 9:30pm. The only thing we could actually see was the light from the light house. We did have quite an adventure though as the winds were blowing at 112 knots. I do not know what that equates to in miles per hour, but the captain of the ship told us that of all the trips he has made around the cape, these were the highest winds he had ever encountered.

Next I will share pictures from Ushuaia, Argentina. This is the southern most city in the world.

Port Madryn, Argentina

Our next port of call was Puerto Madryn, Argentina. It is located on the Atlantic ocean about half way down the Argentina coast. This area reminded us very much of the dry desert back home in Richland, WA. Starting in June through December it is a great place to watch whales. Unfortunately we were there in late March so we did not see any whales. We did see other wildlife however.

This first bird is an rhea. It looks a lot like an ostrich. The ostrich is native to Africa and the rhea is native to South America. The rhea is smaller than the ostrich.

We also saw wild lamas. They reminded us of deer.

We saw penguins......

and we saw elephant seals. This is a mama and her baby. We didn't see a bull, but I understand they are something to see......much larger

Our driver and tour guide took this picture of Chuck and me.

We had a great adventure. Back in town, we enjoyed the scenery before getting back on board the ship.

Our next stop is the Falkland Islands.