The past two days have been wet and rainy. We spent Tuesday in Puerto Montt. This included a bus tour to Puerto Varas and Frutilla. This was a pleasant trip, the highlight being a visit to a splendid wooden theatre on the edge of a lake.
Today was spent on the island of Chiloe just south of Puerto Montt. A small town known for its 16 wooden UNESCO recognized church’s.
The Internet connection is too poor here to add photos. So I can only direct all to the Seabourn blog at my.yb.tl/seabournexpeditions/
Til next time . . .
Sunday we boarded the Seabourn Quest for the trip down South. The port facilities are not what exist in other countries but the procedures went quickly and within 30 minutes we were on board. The day was bright and sunny after the early morning cloud and fog had burnt off. All four days in Chile have had a similar warm sunny climate.
Two days in Valparaiso passed quickly. A tour of the city and of neighboring Vina del Mar was interesting. Valpo is the historic town, built a hundred years ago. And a UNESCO heritage set today. Set on 7 hills it is a jumble of houses built next to one another all the way up these hills. It is noted for its colored houses and for the painted murals on many walls. by contrast Vina del Mar, only 10 km away is modern, clean and open with many modern highrise buildings.
The ship sailed at about 4:30 pm together with two others. No wonder the town looked so busy! We have a full day at sea before the first port. During this time we will meet some of the other passengers, get used to the routine and start learning about the details of the various activities on board on on shore. Amongst quite a few fellow South Africans aboard it appears that Jeremy and Jackie Mansfield are with us!
Monday morning we awoke to a slight roll but a still sea and cloudy weather. Together with the first lectures, we have been introduced to the expedition team – nearly 20 skilled scientists, biologists and mountaineers. An amazing team!
The trip from Santiago to Valparaiso took about two hours on a wide, modern highway. The countryside was hilly and agricultural. The contrast though could not have been greater. Santiago is large and modern. Valparaiso or Valpo as the locals call it is hilly and old looking. The city is built on numerous hills close to the coast. The buildings are old and many are decrepit looking. Colors are varied and mostly faded. But the area has character. We will spend some time here tomorrow.
Santiago is a modern clean, functioning city. The weather is sunny and warm. It looks nothing like the city we remember from 1989.
The old city with its historic buildings is still there and bustling. But the modern Santiago is much more spread out with high rise office blocks and shopping centers.
We have been staying in a small hotel in Providencia, a residential and bustling pedestrian with many restaurants.
It is 7:00 pm in São Paulo and we have another 2 hours here before the next leg to Chile.
We leave in a few days for Santiago, Chile where we will board the Seabourn Quest for the start of our 24 day Antarctic adventure.The trip will take us from Valparaiso port down the Chile coast to Punta Arenas and on to Ushuaia in Argentina before crossing the Drake Channel towards the South Sandwich Island and The Antarctic Peninsula. After several days in the area we will head back towards South Georgia Island and then to Montevideo in Argentina before debarking in Buenos Aires.