Nov 25, 2019 - 10,000 glacier pictures!
It was back to El Calafate for our last full day before heading across the border to Chile. We had pre booked a full day tour out to Perito Moreno glacier, with our pickup being 8:30am. Unfortunately, the weather was once again not cooperating but hey, after nearly 9 weeks, you can’t expect sunshine and clear skies every day. The glacier is approximately two hours away and by the time we got there, the weather had deteriorated. The one-hour boat cruise to the base of the glacier tested even the hardiest of tourists; it was VERY windy and...Jump to full entry
Nov 23, 2019 - You snooze, you lose!
My weather app informed me that the skies would be clear and it wouldn’t be too cold (well too cold for here anyway) so I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to photograph the amazing mountains that surround El Chalten. I set the alarm for 5am, wanting to make sure I was in position and ready for when the sunlight hit those mountains. Even though official sunrise was 6:35am, it was still very light outside as I made my way to the trek up to Mirador de los Condores. The lookout is approximately 40 minutes from our hotel but the first 20...Jump to full entry
Nov 22, 2019 - Hiking again, minus two toenails!
After an in-depth study of the El Chalten hiking map, we decided to opt for a transfer to the start of one of the “easier” walks and make our way back to town. According to the map and the tour operator, this required a moderate level of fitness and should take approximately four hours. We opted for the 9:30am transfer and after an hour of bumping up the stone road (this is the major highway too, connecting Argentina to Chile) were ready to get started. Unlike the previous day, the sun was shining and there was a cooling wind – read head...Jump to full entry
Nov 21, 2019 - Welcome to Argentina
After 28 hours of travelling (Vienna/Frankfurt/Buenos Aires/el Calafate) we finally arrived at our destination in El Calafate. This is the starting point for our Patagonian adventure and the reason I have been carrying around all this photographic equipment with me! By the time we checked in to our hotel, it was around 4pm. Unlike where we had come from, the sun sets here at 10:30pm, not 4:30pm! All this daylight is doing my head in! Craig has been thrown with the time difference and jet lag, so he decided to take it easy in the room. I...Jump to full entry
Nov 18, 2019 - Argentina
Our last day in South America we docked in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We had to vacate our state room by 8am, but Viking took good care of us. Since our flight was departing at 9pm, we had time to do a little sight seeing before we left. We boarded buses to go to Tigre, a small city outside Buenos Aires. There we boarded a sight seeing boat that took us through a system of rivers; we saw homes and businesses. Lots of people were swimming, jet skiing, boating; for people who live on the river there are boat businesses that bring in water,...Jump to full entry
Feb 27, 2019 - board Midnatsol
Our ship holds about 450 people. Authorities only allow about 100 passengers to be put on shore in Antartica at a time. This means we will have to take turns and might lead you to believe that a smaller ship would be a better choice. But smaller ships are less able to handle the rough waters and their Antarctic cruises get cancelled regularly because of weather. It's a crap shoot. Big ships are also somewhat cheaper due to economies of scale. This trip cost plenty already. Getting everyone to the ships is an organizational challenge. It is...Jump to full entry
Feb 26, 2019 - on the town
Every time we have come here, I have been reminded how important it is to have good government. This beautiful country has suffered greatly at the hands of incompetent, greedy and even cruel leadership. The current inflation rate of 48% makes it impossible to save. Large transactions like home purchases must be made in cash US dollars, not local peso currency. As we wander around down town, we hear a steady chorus of "cambio" from middle class looking people who want to exchange their pesos for dollars. If they can't get dollars today, they...Jump to full entry
Feb 25, 2019 - Buenos Aries, Argentina and the Trip Home
04 11 Feb. 24, 2019 Buenos Aries, Argentina and the Trip Home The wether continued to cloud our chances to explore - although we had done just that in Buenos Aries a few years ago with Classic Journeys. So when it rained upon our arrival to that bustling city we were not disappointed on our last full day as we enjoyed the amenities of the ship and began the process of repacking. Either our clothing expanded or something happened since Tom had to expand his suitcase! We had not purchased anything! The ship was docked in a commercial port...Jump to full entry
Feb 25, 2019 - arrive in Buenos Aries
There was nothing premium about Premium Economy. We were on an old plane; perhaps a new one configured for this service might have been better. It felt exactly like the old economy flights we used to take to Europe, only much longer. The immigration line was long and slow. When we got through it we were so happy to see our bags on the other side and our guide waiting. A long and tedious travel day. Once your feet are firmly planted on the ground and your luggage is in your hands, other needs begin to rise. The hotel had our rooms ready...Jump to full entry
Feb 20, 2019 - At Sea and White Night
04 10 Feb. 20, 2019 At Sea and White Night Another day at sea began with an amazing sunrise. This has been a cruise with the most days at sea and taught us not to take an ocean crossing cruise in the future! It was a leisurely time at sea with not a lot of rolling and pitching. Tom tried a hot dog from the patio. It was a bit better than the one from Chile, but still not like back home. Many of the passengers were spread out on the pool deck absorbing the rays. Deck five also has deck chairs and is out of the direct sun making it one of our...Jump to full entry
Feb 18, 2019 - At Sea and Puerto Madryn, Argentina
04 08 Feb. 17-18, 2019 At Sea Instead of taking 2 days at sea to reach Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, we headed to a calmer part of the South Atlantic and closer to the mainland. We dined at Prime C, one of the two premium restaurants and then enjoyed the dancing show by Sasha and Dyma - two very talented performers. 04 09 Feb. 19, 2019 Puerto Madryn, Argentina We chose a two-stop tour that first took us to a sheep ranch - San Guillermo. Here out in the Patagonia pampas desert away from civilization, the owner decided to fashion his...Jump to full entry
Feb 16, 2019 - Docked in Ushuaia Harbor with near hurricane winds
04 07 Feb. 16, 2019 Docked in Ushuaia Harbor Nearly hurricane winds of a constant 60 mph crossed the harbor as we arose early. The harbormaster closed access and the ship was securely tied with every line. All passengers were kept aboard but the three Chilean Ship Pilots who had accompanied us to Ushuaia were able to disembark and get their flights back to home base. Two entertainers were able to join the roster while the gangplank was lowered only once before being withdrawn. All shore excursions were cancelled. Tom was very disappointed...Jump to full entry