Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Punta Arenas (not), Glacier Alley, and Ushuaia

Grab this related post Widget!
We went to bed last night looking forward to a scenic hike in a forest called Reserva Magellan in Punta Arenas. We wake up and immediately know something is wrong. What is that noise?? I look out the window, see lots of waves moving in the same direction, and realize the sound we are hearing is the wind whipping around outside. Soon the announcement comes from the captain--unexpected 70-80 mph winds, port is closed, we'll keep you informed. Translation: yet another day ashore has been cancelled.

And that means another day at sea. SIGH----. This is turning into a repositioning cruise! I give major props to the ship's staff, especially the food and beverage employees, when shenanigans like this happen. They're expecting a quiet day with most of the passengers ashore. Then, like firemen, they've gotta instantly get it in gear because everybody is still here.

Of course a new activity sheet is soon in our mailbox, but choices that seemed like fun a few days ago are looking a bit stale. We resist the temptation to participate in "Target Toss with Show Host Mike" or to receive our free tongue and pulse analysis. In fact the whole day passes and, except for attending the Marriage Game we somehow manage to not do a damn thing. Dinner, a disappointing production show, and we go to bed hoping for a better day tomorrow.

And we are not disappointed. We're awakened to an announcement that we are in the Beagle Channel and "Glacier Alley," so we quickly get dressed and go out to the bow for spectacular views on a bracing and glorious morning. Here are several photos to give you an idea.

After lunch we arrive at Ushuaia, the "City at the End of the World," for a wildlife tour.

The Weather Gods continue to smile on us with blue skies and calm waters.

Our first stop is Alicia Island, which is packed with sea lions.

We are in a small boat and able to get really close.

Next we cruise over to aptly named Bird Island, home to king and imperial shags.

We go past Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse

on the way to a short hike on Bridges Island, where at its highest point we are treated to spectacular views of the Beagle Channel and Patagonian mountains.

Now this is what we came all this way to see! What a fantastic day. We are exhausted from our long and busy day so we eat an early dinner and get ready for----another sea day!

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