Days 74 to 77
13.04.2011 - 16.04.2011 5 °C
Day 74, 13th April
We’re very lucky to have experienced a lot of different levels of travel. After roughing it for a few days, we’re now on a very plush boat gently floating through amazingly beautiful landscapes. It also means that we’re meeting all kinds of people – some really friendly and others….
You know you’re lucky when the boat crew is amazed at the weather. We had a perfect blue sky and sunny day today. Everyone was in a great mood. We experienced our first ‘disembarkation’ this morning. C now wants a zodiac. We were taken to Ainsworth bay and taken on a tour into the forest. When we got back to the landing point they had drinks ready. C discovered a new favorite drink - hot chocolate with a shot of Johnny Walker red label – it goes down a treat!
Once back on board we had lunch and answered the trivia questions. We were treated to a view of a nice glacier from the top deck then got ready for our afternoon excursion to the Brookes glacier. There are three different kinds of glaciers in the one area. It was pretty scary going back in the zodiac as we had to break through the ice.
Later that night I was roped in to be a model in the fashion show and we then did dismally at bingo.
Day 75, 14th April 2011
After another hot breaky we chilled out in one of the lounges and I tried to finish my book and C caught up on the blog.
In the afternoon we did another excursion to a glacier, again with lots of ice to break through. Once on shore we saw the calving of ice from the glacier – lots of people tried to make it happen by screaming out but not much happened.
Unfortunately an Australian lady slipped and apparently had broken her ankle - they have quite a few different docs on board (a gyno, a pediatrician, a neuro and C), but no narcotics so she was in quite a lot of pain.
We sailed through glacier ally where each glacier is named after a country. They served food and drinks that matched the country – champagne for the French glacier, wine for the Italian etc. It was cool and we saw a beautiful sunset on the topdeck.
After the cape horn briefing we went off to bed – as we’d been warned that it would be pretty rough during the night.
Day 76, 15th April 2011
We were woken up with things falling off the bedside tables and the constant rocking. They were a bit behind schedule as they had dropped of the Australian lady and her husband at Puerto Williams. Hopefully she’ll get her leg set and they won’t have to cut their trip short .
We made it to cape horn island at about 9:00 and waited anxiously for the captain to determine whether we would be able to go onto land. Luckily the wind wasn’t too bad so we were loaded into the zodiacs and made our way up all the stairs go look at the look outs. It was very windy – similar to Torres del Paine.
There is a cool monument that forms a picture of a seagull – we waited to get our picture in front of it then went to see the chapel, lighthouse and shop. We made friends with the dog that lives there- a gorgeous Alsatian puppy called Antares.
We were already on our way back to the zodiac when the captain rang the horn for us to return. It got a bit wet on the way back and it was pretty bumpy.
We had a szzz in the afternoon and re-packed again. At about 6:00 we did our last disembarkation to a bay which translates to beautiful bay. The boat company has turned an old fisherman’s building into a museum about the area and the indigenous people.
Dinner was the usual overindulgence and afterward we joined the farewell drinks. The ‘jack’(the boat’s flag) was raffled for US$400 and we didn’t win the trivia (all that cheating gone to waist).
Day 77, 15th April
The boat actually spent last night just outside of Ushuaia, then went to land early this morning. We finished packing, had a quick breaky and then set off in the direction of a Laundromat.
It’s funny when you’re traveling that the smallest tasks that you do at home become a massive two person mission. After finding that the Laundromat didn’t open till 9:00 we went to find wifi – but the coffee shop that said it had wifi actually didn’t so we found an internet café. I went back to put the laundry in but was told that she couldn’t do it until Monday, so I trudged off up the hill to find another one – which was no longer there. Worried that C would be wondering where I was I went back to find him so we both then went back up the hill, found a dry cleaner that couldn’t do it but after another six block (very cranky on my part) walk we found a nice lady that would have it done by 4pm that day. (lesson of this storey is - enjoy your easy access washing machines!!!)
We wandered around a bit, bought a weird spoon and found another café that did have good free wifi. We spent most of the next 4 hours doing admin- trying to book a hotel in La Paz and upload photos. C had noticed that we could be given a free gift form a jewelry shop, H Stern, so we found the shop ( and were given a small penguin charm each) and I was very tempted by the beautiful pieces they had – I resisted.
After picking up our washing and hastily re-packing in the boat company’s reception we got a taxi out to the airoporto. We got busted for having too heavy hand luggage so we re-shuffled and put C’s underneath. We were stung for airport tax. Luckily the flight was on time and we made it back to BA by 11:30pm, and had another hair raising taxi ride to the hostel (we’d refused to get into two previous taxis that looked ok as they were not ‘radio’taxis – but ours was a bomb) – the taxi cost the same as what a transfer would have anyway!. Luckily again though they were awake and expecting us – but we had great fun dragging our bags up the four levels of very thin and steep marble stairs, in the rain, across a courtyard and into our very basic room.
We’re both still rocking from the boat!