This blog is posted mostly everyday when we take a break from our usual retired Life as former full-time RVer's and travel overseas.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Punta Arenas to Santiago - Nov. 29, 2019

With our luggage taken away last night we didn't have much to pack this morning, just a few items to go into our day packs.

The view from outside on our balcony showed we were docked at the pier in Punta Arenas beside another Antarctic expedition ship, The Megellan Explorer.

Baggage being loaded for transport to the airport where it will be checked for us, meaning we will just have to pick it up at baggage claim when we arrived at the airport in Santiago.

Breakfast was served early, though it didn't matter for us as we were in the last group to depart the ship which would be at 10 o'clock. Linda knew how to pass the time as she waited from 8 o'clock when we had to vacate our room until we left the ship two hours later.

I took advantage of the time to write another blog post, having uploaded the photos during the night. Posting the photos at night had worked great, except for when we were in extremely rough seas when they simply didn't go up, likely due to problems with the satellite connections due to the motion of the ship. You might notice we both have our jackets on. That's because with the big side door open and the departure ramp down the cold air just pours into the ship.

We were the only ones relaxing and waiting for the bus to the airport.

It was fascinating watching the tugs pull this ship away from the dock in front of us, then maneuver it beside and around us From its appearance it was likely heading back to where we had recently come from.

Last glimpse up towards the top of the ship just before I started down the ramp.

An almost surreal photo of the sun peeking through the clouds which reflect a number of different colors.

You might get the idea from the Punta Arenas airport parking lot that it wasn't very busy today. Wrong. The waiting area was absolutely jammed with people. Most of whom were from our ship as apparently one of the charter flights coming in from Santiago on which part of our group would be returning to Santiago was delayed.

Selfie taken on board our flight. That's Ms. Talks-a-Lot across the aisle.

The label was exactly what the meal was. The flight was just over 3 1/2 hours so this is our lunch. That's a sandwich which was a roll sliced open with some cheese and lunchmeat inside, nothing else. Maybe Hurtigruten wanted to save money on these charter flights wherever they could. Bad Bob.

Sign on the building as we drove from the Santiago Airport to our hotel. I believe the translation is Freedom Moves Us.

We passed the US Fortress, I mean Embassy, on the way to our hotel which was only a block away.

Once again we were back at the Intercontinental Hotel in Santiago.

Linda knows how celebrate the end of a trip to Antarctica.

When one pisco sour is not enough, you go for another, but in a lager size. There are things about travel that unless you have been there and done that you just can't appreciate. We are working hard at cutting that list down. Friday night we fly back to the states on an overnight flight, visiting with my cousin Paul and his wife Patty in Boca Ratan on Saturday before heading over to the west coast of Florida for a week of R&R plus RV shopping before finally heading back to Retama a week from now. May a visit to Antarctica be on your list of places to see someday. It is like no other place on earth.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Last day at Sea - Nov. 27, 2019

Our trip is in its last stages. Today we will continue traveling from the Falklands to the Straits of Magellan. While there was some rocking during the night my traveling companion continues to wake up with a smile on her face after a restful night's sleep. Happy Linda makes for happy Bob.

While I am no wildlife photographer our balcony makes it easy to photograph any creatures that may happen by weather in the sea or the air. The wrist strap on my camera comes in handy as I can operate the camera with one hand and have the binoculars in the other.

Meanwhile, inside, Linda is slowly working at packing. And yes, it all fits with room to spare. As usual we way over packed in some areas, especially as far as cold-weather gear was concerned. We know that layers is the secret, the problem is that we go for far more layers than we need when we pack. Plus we brought our snow/rain boots which we didn't need as the ship supplied for the trip.

As we traveled along we noticed the sea had changed color from the usual gray or gray blue to green.

This photo of an oil rig shows the contrast in the color of the water, plus you can also see land on the horizon.

Most of the day albatross were circling the ship.

Linda always requests a copy of our on board charges the evening before we depart the ship to make sure they are correct. Imagine her surprise when she found several entries she hadn't anticipated. A little review of our reservations revealed that because of our very early reservations of the trip, plus our membership in the Hurtigruten Ambassador Club, we had began the trip with just under 2000 euros in on board ship credits. Plus we had free airfare and the wine package which we already knew about. The bottom line was a shopping spree of monumental proportions to use up the 1100 euro balance in free on ship credits at the ship retail shop. Linda found some very cute penguin earrings and I bought a few things as well. Very Happy Linda.

Between the 25 to 30 mile an hour winds and the bright sun on the had trouble taking photos from our balcony.

But when she did succeed at taking photos, she did a great job. Proud Bob.

The luggage had to be out by the main elevators by 10:30 in the evening. We weren't the only ones on our deck who had it out much earlier.

Linda likes to take sunset photos. This can be looked at two ways, it is the sun setting, and it is the last hours of the most fantastic trip we have ever taken. Of course, every time the are returning home from a trip we always say that it was the most fantastic trip we've ever taken. And you know something every time we are absolutely correct.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Nesting Albatross and Rockhopper Penguins - Nov 26, 2019

In the launch room ready to board a zodiac for the trip ashore. The laughs are because I once again volunteered when they needed one person to fill the zodiac. Linda told everyone what happened the last time I did this, so everyone was reminding me to stay at the landing area until her zodiac arrived. After the 'polite' way Linda informed me she was less than pleased with me the last time I did this I assured everyone I would be right there when they landed.

Standing on the loading platform before getting into the zodiac. Did she take this in case I went down with the ship, so to speak? Bad Bob.

Proving I was as good as my word. A photo of Linda being helped out of the zodiac. Good Bob.

The island we were on, and it location was in its name.

As has been the case, there was a good deal of uphill hiking.

One of the reasons we travel.

Once up on top of the hill, the fog was definitely in. I took this photo about 20 feet from the caracara.

Miles further we arrived at the albatross and penguin rookery.

Rockhopper penguin on its nest.

If you had any difficulty walking, this most definitely wasn't the place for you.

Besides the birds nesting, albatross were soaring overhead.

On the way back much of the fog had lifted and the caracara were out in numbers. Often I would top a rise, Linda took the Land Rover back, and caracara would come soaring right beside me. Never did get a photo of those times, but the memories will always be with me.

This was another private island and we were the only visitors so the Norwegian flag was flown below the flag of the Falklands in our honor.

Linda had already tasted the goodies at the table by the I had walked back, and she was only to happy to point out which ones she liked the best.

No matter how enjoyable our time ashore is, it is always good to return to the ship.

Linda on the boot cleaning machine.

Why we so enjoy our balcony.

It's not the ship's figurehead, it's wild hair Linda standing at the bow of the ship.

I wish we had the room to bring it home, I was sure she would have bought it.

Linda's penguin. No doubt that it is a chinstrap. Hopefully we will be able to get it home in one piece,

You can tell it is Linda's penguin, it even joined us for our gin and tonic time.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." Mark Twain.