Friday, May 13, 2011

Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

Today – Puerto Chacabuco. A small fishing village on the west coast of Chile, it is of little interest to me frankly. I was awakened at seven local by the tri lingual announcement that we were here and were tied up at the pier and not tendering. The temp is 51.2 degrees but they did not say if it was raining. It is claimed that it is often clear and sunny as you leave the coast. From my stateroom window I can see dark heavy clouds and a green tree covered hill reaching above the ship.

My bill was on the door, and it is exactly correct to the penny. I got my credit for the fifty bucks and other than my shore charges, I bought batteries and aspirin (which I have not yet used). Went to the Yacht Club and brought back two cups of coffee, and will wander outside a bit when they are done, wearing the wet weather pants, and likely the yellow rain parka over the hoodie. Then I suspect I’ll go on-line.

It’s 11am and I’m back in my cabin after a walk thru Puerto Chacabuco of a little under an hour, in a very light occasional drizzle and following wind on the way out. It took me about four tries to get out of my cabin, coming back for camera, then hoody, then the camera malfunctioned so I returned to do the only maintenance I know – take out and reinstall the batteries and memory card, and it’s working again but uses a flash every time.

The town was psychologically reminiscent of Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland, but perhaps because of getting off a ship at a god forsaken ends of the earth kinda place. I was halfway envious of those who piled into little surreys to ride off to a sunny German town ten miles away over pretty winding roads bla bla, but as it was not an official NCL sponsored event, and because I hadn’t paid enough attention to whether this was considered an ok thing to do, I didn’t. I tried to rationalize that I am ‘excursioned out’ and have seen SO many lovely places around the globe, from Yosemite to the Southern Alps, Norway to Nepal, Banff to Bulgaria, that I really didn’t NEED to ride around and see any more.

A large tour bus pulled up just as I rounded the corner of the dock, and I SPRINTED to the gangway ahead of all forty or so of them, and went to the pursers desk where I said that I had come to NOT complain because my bill was perfect. They asked how the ‘sweater’ was and I got the idea that one of them had done it themselves.

/.Finding the Yacht club closed for breakfast, I got a cup of hot chocolate with the same gasps of surprise from the old ladies within earshot who were again, quite obviously, drinking coffee or tea when they would have preferred the choc. It pays to ask. And listen…and I’m still bad at the latter.

No matter – I’ve got the little exercise glow from the walk, which may have been two miles but was more likely a mile and a half. Got pic of the ship with the forward hawser line, of a little church, or a gas price sign, and not much else, because there was not much else, but a coca cola sign, which as we know, is ubiquitous. Now to look at my pix.//Which came out nice. Particularly like the one of the hawser.

Well, at two we pushed off from Puerto Chacabuco, which I could not find on the detailed atlas in the library, which is where I watched our departure which included lovely views of snow covered Andes, and I think we are well on our way to filling up the 128k memory card.

S*** wrote of taking over an hour and a half to drive her 12 mile commute due to snow, sleet, ice etc. I shudder to think what I’ll find when I get home. Whenever that is. I also posted on a few blogs and read a very few, but the site is slow because AP and CNN picked up on Queen of Sky’s blog and the site got overloaded. Downloaded pprune to read later, maybe now.

Lunch was with the same SC couple as yesterday, only no politics talk this time. Had bit of French fries and one hotdog and a few pieces of cheese, but also had one scoop of vanilla ice cream, and felt the swimming pool which doesn’t feel that warm. Think I’ll go hit the deck awhile now, as it is lovely everywhere.
As it happened, I hit the hot tub instead. Lovely session with howling gale winds around me but only one other person showed up, and she went into the other tub.

Following, I went and dangled my legs in the pool, but did not go all the way in, although someone else shortly thereafter did. No sun, grey day with pretty mountains sliding by on both sides. Stumbled, quite by accident, on Hannah’s office which is by the elevators near me but on the corridor I don’t usually traverse. I showed her the pic of Ruth and she was delighted, and then the Antarctic pix, but that was really all she had time for, and it pays me to remember that these people are working while I am at leisure.

Back in my room again, I found the tv in op. Now, I recognize that it is sad to be relying on a television for entertainment while on vacation, but I do, and so I immediately called the front desk and am waiting now for someone to respond. I think the antenna was just pulled out by someone cleaning. I went down and got two cookies at tea time and a glass of ice water, and I am still horsing around with the computer trying to get it to do what I want. Actually Jayson showed me how to get the type face all the same, which I now have done. That leaves the margains, but I’ve been working on them bits at a time.

One thing I may not have mentioned thus far, is the LACK of any signs of civilization from the time we left Punta Arenas. Hour after hour, we glide by forests and mountains and waterfalls and timber and lovely unspoiled country that remains totally untouched by any signs of civilization whatever…no roads, wires, buildings, towers etc to mar a pristine landscape.

I also may not have mentioned that I have not once seen a single person in the video game room, and that is a good thing. There had been a post on cruise critic about how teen wanted to see photos of the game room aboard the Dawn, and I was gonna post something about how sad that is, till I realized that I’m the same way about my internet connection, and others are with their gambling or whatever. Card players, monopoly players, etc all have their little spots staked out, and they simply all happen to be old on this particular cruise which is damn near over now. I think I have it sussed that the day after tomorrow it is over.

Wrong again. We dock early Sunday, so we have three more nights at sea. Supper was sliced turkey, some cold roast beef, potatoes and delicious apple strudel very hot with some nice vanilla ice cream thereon. Walked by shore excursions and everything they have for tomorrow is basically over a hundred bucks, so am gonna search for an internet café and relax. I thanked purser for fixing the tv so promptly the second time (but I didn’t say it sarcastic like that).

Well, I sat in the lido lounge and took some more pictures of the trio, Pablo, Paula and Christian before they broke for their supper and the place filled up. I am pleased with some of the ones I’ve gotten so far, to put it mildly. Tonight she wore a gold sheath with spaghetti straps. One of the other guests asked me if I were the father of one of the band members, which sort of brought me back to reality nicely. It was very foggy for awhile but has lifted enough to watch some pretty scenery sliding by the library. It is 2015, and I logged on long enough to look just a little more, tried to check my blog but too slow there.

Three more nights of pampering and Philipina maids and waiters and food carvers and bartenders who fill a glass of water upon seeing me, and concierges who kma without really knowing why, and lovely landscape floating by. Am I gonna miss all this? You betcha. No answer from ** so far, and S*** also has an unansd email from me now. P*** is home from the hospital but in poor shape. But expected to make a full recovery. Unk if she will ever fly again.

I returned to the lido to listen to a few songs and then downstairs with Pablo and Paula for coffee and cookies. Back in the room, I realize I don’t have the laundry I sent in yesterday, so I called front desk for that and am waiting for callback. I am really feeling the ‘end of cruise’ syndrome and feeling slightly sorry for myself, all the while realizing that I have been living a life that many people only dream of, and have not had to work in years to do so.

So, seconds after my call, knock at the door and voila, there is my laundry/. So, then the cnn feed was lost and I had a choice of watching a hand washing video or really stupid sitcom or changing to a movie and wondering whether it would be in Spanish or German…it was Spanish.

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