Saturday, December 15, 2007

Details . . .

I got back earlier today from a quick trip to DC to get my hair cut. I know, I know, but he gives me a really great cut. I got to see Maria for a brief lunch, which was great. Alex (my niece) looked great in the sweater I made her. When my sister sends me the picture, I will post it b/c it really is just too cute.

12/21 - Santiago
12/22 - Santiago/Valparaiso
12/23 - At sea
12/24 - Puerto Montt, Chile
12/25 - Cruising the Chilean fjords
12/26 - Cruising Straits of Magellan
12/27 - Punta Arenas, Chile
12/28 - Ushuaia, Argentina
12/29 - Rounding Cape Horn
12/30 - At sea
12/31 - Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
1/1 - At sea
1/2 - Puerto Madryn, Argentina
1/3 - At sea
1/4 - Punta del Este, Uruguay
1/5 - Montevideo, Uruguay
1/6 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
1/7-9 - Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Well, I promised that I would post a little more info about my trip aside from just the itinerary. My trip starts on Thursday evening when I fly down to Miami and then catch my connection to Santiago. It should be about an 8 hour red-eye from Miami to Santiago so I plan to sleep on the plane (with a little help from a friend name Ambien). I arrive around 9am and my tour group, Amazing Journeys will pick me up and transfer me to my hotel. I'll meet up with folks around noonish to walk around Santiago until the group officially meets up around 5:30 for dinner. On Saturday, we have a city tour of Santiago planned and then a 2-hour drive to the port in Valparaíso. Once in Valparaíso, I'll check-in at the ship and probably get right off so I can walk around the quaint town of Valparaíso. Valparaíso is known for it's coastal location, ascensores (or inclined planes as we call them in Johnstown), Victorian architecture, etc. I believe the ship leaves around 11pm.

Puerto Montt

My first port of call is going to be Puerto Montt in Chile's Lake District. This area is known for it's volcanoes and lakes. I'll be taking a day-long excursion around Lake Llanquihe, Petrohue Falls, Lago Todos Los Santos (Emerald Lake) and to Volcán Osorno an active volcano that rises in the horizon like Mount Fuji. Let's just say that my camera will be getting a lot of action that day. They say that weather can be hit or miss at this time of year. If you time it on a sunny day, you have gorgeous views of the lake and the volcano. However, if it's an overcast day, the colors of the water are muted and the volcano is hidden in clouds. So, cross your fingers that it's a beautiful day!

Puntas Arenas

After a couple days cruising the Chilean Fjords, viewing the Skua Glacier, and navigating the Strait of Magellan, I arrive in Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile. This city is the launching point for those who wish to travel to Antartica or those who wish to visit the famous Torres del Paine in Patagonia. Because it is a 2+ hour drive, I won't get to see it. Instead, I will be taking a trip to Magdalena Island, home to over 70,000 breeding pairs of Magellanic penguins. Supposedly, this is one of the best places to view these penguins up close. However, Punta Arenas is also known for it cold, dreary weather and intense winds. I'm sure the weather will be reminiscent of the weather we had in Glacier Bay National Park with the addition of 30-50 mile per hour winds! Yeah, I'll be bringing my wool hat, gloves, and 3-in-1 jacket!


After leaving Punta Arenas, we will arrive at our first port in Argentina - Ushuaia. Ushuaia is known as the end of the world b/c it is the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is part of Tierra del Fuego (land of fire), and is located on the Beagle Channel. Here's I will take a catamaran along the Beagle Channel and then tour thru Tierra del Fuego National Park. Supposedly the king crabs in this area are huge, so I hope to have time to try some out before heading back to the ship.

More to come about the other ports of call. For now, I'm off to bed.

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