A Travellerspoint blog

Chile

Chile: Around the Cape

December 3, 2010

all seasons in one day 43 °F

Cape Horn is an island and is also the southernmost point of South America. Today we successfully navigated around it in a counterclockwise direction. We got lucky and avoided the frequent storms, strong currents and icebergs which can make this passage really dangerous. In the thousand pictures that Tony shot today you can see the famous monument to lost sailors (which is hollow in the center to capture their souls) as well as the lighthouse. The famous Cathedral Rocks and a formation that looks like a Crouching Lion can be seen in some of the other pictures. We had every form of weather that day too and definitely had to wear our raincoats and snow gear! Carey and Gerald from Calgary joined us in braving the windy and cool weather to check out the sites. The four of us had dinner and then we had a blast drinking and dancing later that night! They are much better dancers than us. . so we were happy to learn a few new Latin moves =)

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 07:55 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Chile: Patagonian Penguins

December 1, 2010

all seasons in one day 5 °F

Okay, so technically they’re Magellanic penguins but still . . . they are found in Southern Patagonia which is where we spent the day today. It is icy cold out there—we even heard people from Minnesota and Missouri complaining about the chill which made us Californians feel a little better =) We landed in Punta Arenas and made our way to the Otway Sound Penguin Reserve, the oldest in the region. It was great! We got to get up close and personal with TONS of penguins and despite the chill factor (we estimate it must have been about 5 degrees outside) we still enjoyed it tremendously. You can see that these flightless birds are very photogenic and the cool weather doesn’t bother them at all! TThese penguins generally live underground in burrows but we got lucky and they were out and about for us. This was the perfect time of the year to visit them because they were still brooding their eggs and some offspring were being born. Afterwards we explored the town of Punta Arenas and unanimously agree than Chilean cuisine is not our favorite, very fresh seafood but not well prepared. . .

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 10:11 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Chile: We aren’t blue that it's overcast

November 30, 2010

snow 32 °F

This morning we found ourselves face to face with a glacier, the Brujo Glacier to be accurate, inside the Torres del Paine National Park. This was the first time that either of us has ever encountered one. The glacier had a blue hue today, which was lucky because if it was sunny outside it would look white. We then made our way through the Strait of Magellan which is considered a very difficult route to navigate because of the unpredictable winds and currents but we lucked out and made it through! Prior to Magellan it was called the Strait of All Saints but was renamed by the Spanish King in honor of Magellan a Portuguese sailor, the first European to navigate the strait in 1520. We are learning all these things from our extremely passionate and knowledgeable travel guide Chris who gives daily lectures on local wildlife and the history of the areas we are visiting.

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 08:01 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Chile: I didn’t know Darwin liked Beagles?

November 29, 2010

overcast 60 °F

Another early rise for us—up at 7 am to follow in the path of Charles Darwin who cruised at what is now the Darwin Channel on the ship H.M.S. Beagle about 200 years prior. If you look at a map of Chile, you will find that the West coast looks ragged and is made up of a clustering of many islands (archipelago). This area is beautiful and we had the unique privilege of being able to cruise through this largely uninhabited and pristine landscape of Southern Chilean Fjords. We have found that it is very difficult to capture the effect on film as we cruise through. These narrow Fjords are also a great shelter from the rough Pacific Ocean which by the way was named Pacific after the word “Pacifico” which means “calm” in Spanish. . a complete misnomer as far as we are concerned! After warming up from the chilling air outside we were back to our normal at sea routine of enjoying the food and taking naps (punctuated with the occasional work out, Spanish Class or salsa dancing with friends).

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 07:59 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Chile: Once upon a time. . . in the lakes district

November 28, 2010

sunny 72 °F

The Lakes District of Chile seems to be out of some sort of fairy tale—this area leaves you speechless as you drive through pristine countryside with multiple snow-capped volcanoes looming overhead. We took a long drive on mini-buses from our port in Puerto Montt through multiple small towns and lakes which eventually led us to Petrohue Falls. At the falls we had a chance to see some of that striking blue glacial water coursing over rock faces. The main volcanoes in the pictures are Volcan Osorno and Volcan Calbuco and the lake is Lake Llanquihue. Our whole adventure cost us $20 total to do what others on the cruise spent around $185 per person to do—Ruby’s Spanish skills are being put to good use on this trip and mine are also improving.

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 15:45 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

Chile: All the comforts of home—and then some!

November 27, 2010

semi-overcast 70 °F

This was our first day at sea and it was pure relaxation. We spent the day eating delicious food to our hearts content, sitting in the hot tub, working out at the gym (not too much!) and lounging in the plush library. The librarian on board is a sweetheart and got Ruby “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and Tony the “Life of Pi” per our special requests. Tony is practicing his Spanish with classes onboard and also winning brown scarves during a contest involving chocolate diamonds (by the way these are exclusively from Australia) and drinking champagne :)

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 15:32 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Chile: All aboard—don’t forget your meclizine!

November 26, 2010

sunny 75 °F
View Around the World #1 on Tony.Ruby's travel map.

We woke up in Valparaiso and were ever so thankful that we arrived exhausted and didn’t have a chance to take a look at our hotel room. The sheets were clean and the location was great but that’s about all we can say. After purchasing a few bottles of Chilean wine we were off to the port . . . once again Tony was the navigator and took us in the complete wrong direction. . are you beginning to notice a theme here? While being smushed in a taxi we quickly learned that in Chile they will try to put as many people into one car as possible, we probably could have gotten a fancy tourist cab but anything to save a buck :) Setting foot on the Veendam, one of Holland America's cruiseships we soon realized that this cruise is not for amateurs and the seas off the coast of Chile are not your normal smooth sailing. However, with unlimited food, seven bottles of wine and all of our clothes unpacked . . . it’s nice to relax with the retirees! Ruby had an AMAZINGLY delicious dish made of only mushrooms and potatoes, she's bringing home the recipe!

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 15:20 Archived in Chile Comments (2)

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