So I leave in less than 48 hours and as is typical Robin fashion, I am blowing off the final details until the last minute. Instead of coming home and packing and hemming (yeah, you read that right) these pants I got, I had to go out and socialize. I'm toying w/ going to the gym after work tomorrow, but I know if I do, I won't do squat when I get home. Why am I such a procrastinator????
Ok, here's more details on the different ports of call.
We'll be docked at the Falkland Islands on New Year's Eve. Most have heard of the Falklands War, when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982 in an attempt to reclaim them from the British. It failed miserably. Now, the Falklands are part of the cruise circuit because of its diverse penguin populations. The Falklands are home to five different species of penguins, including the King, Gentoo, Rockhopper, Macaroni and Magellanic. I did not sign up for the coveted Volunteer Point excursion, but instead signed up for a half-day tour of the bluff cove rookery where there are mainly magellanic penguins and a few breeding pairs of kings. This way I'll have the rest of the day to check out the town of Stanley and maybe have some fish and chips in the local pub.
Puerto Madryn is about the same latitude as Puerto Montt, but is much more barren. Here, the big attraction is eithe Punto Tombo or Peninsula Valdes. I will be heading to Peninsula Valdes to view elephant seals, sea lions, and maybe the southern right whale. We'll be there at the end of the whales breeding period so they may have moved on by the time we get there. Then again, with global warming, they may still be there . . . Oh, and Mom, in looking at the info on Wikipedia, it looks like Peninsula Valdes is in the Chubut Province which is where those sunrises on Discovery might be from.
This area was settled by Welsh and south of Puerto Madryn is a town called Gaiman where you can have afternoon tea and hear Welsh being spoken. I won't be there, but I thought it was an interesting tidbit.
Punta del Este
Punta del Este is known as the riviera of South America. This is where all of South America's elite "summers." I'll be taking a tour of the city, going to an art museum, and visiting Casapueblo, a hotel and the home of Uruguayn artist Carlos Páez Vilaró. Afterwards, I hope to park myself at a spot on the beach and soak up some summer sun.
This is our last port on the cruise. Montevideo happens to house the ONLY holocaust memorial in South America. We will be there on a Saturday and Amazing Journeys has organized a tour of Jewish Montevideo, including services at a Sephardic synagogue (Turkish origin). We will tour the Jewish district, the Holocaust Memorial, and learn more about the Jewish culture of the city. It should be very intersting.
I will be staying here overnight before heading off into the jungle. We'll do a tour of the city, with hopefully some time to find some cheap, custom-made leather jackets, and then a tango show that evening.
The next day, we'll be flying to Iguazu Falls, the 2nd largest falls in the world. Here, we'll tour the falls from both the upper and lower circuits and take a jungle boat tour. Our hotel is right inside the park w/ views of the falls. I then went thru a HUGE hassle to get a Brazilian visa so I could take a 4-hour tour to view the other side of the falls. The Brazilian side is known for its unobstructed views of Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat).
I know, it's a jam-packed almost 3 days. I will fly from Iguazu back to Argentina, transfer from the domestic airport to the international airport, and take a red-eye home thru Miami. I can't believe this trip is almost here. I hope you enjoy all the links b/c there was no way I was going to type in all the info from those sites!