3/01/2015 Buenos Aires Argentina population about 3 million.
I had hired a guide through “Tours By Locals” for a full day tour of Buenos Aires on March 1. His name is Alejandro, goes by Alex, and he is a terrific tour guide. He obviously knows his city and loves it. He showed us so many out of the way places we would really never have known to look for.
There are really huge parks everywhere, and most of them have the usual things you find in a park, like children’s play areas, floral gardens, picnic and BBQ areas, and benches etc.They also have dog park areas and even areas with work out gym equipment for those who can’t afford a “health club”. This is free to all.
Argentine residents also have free health care, and many of the parks have nurses and can preform basic medical testing also. School is free from kindergarten through college. Their sales tax is 21% and income tax from 9% to 21%.
The city of Buenos Aires was designed by French architects, has a European look to the older buildings and some of the widest streets in the world.
On the other side of that coin there are literally tens of thousands of “sub standard housing” where people are living or squatting.We saw mile after mile of these huge and many storied buildings that had partially burned or fallen apart. Been severely damaged and never repaired.
I have never seen the sheer vastness of slums that we saw. This was on our trip from the International airport to our hotel on February 11. Many with no utilities, some with TV Dish attached. My impression is that in Buenos Aires you are either wealthy or impoverished.
Until our day with Alex on March 1 the above was my total opinion of Buenos Aires. Alex did show us a lot of what is being done to restore buildings for homes, but with the volatility of the Argentine Peso it is hard to imagine a lot of improvement. Alex said unemployment was about 8%. Of course as we know in our own country, that is likely only these actively seeking employment.
The value of the Argentine Peso changes daily. There is the “bank rate” the “blue rate” and the “black market”. As an example, the day we arrived in Buenos Aires the bank rate was 1 USD= 8.69 Argentine peso. Blue rate 1 USD= 12.28 Argentine peso, we don’t know what the black rate was.
The advantage to an American tourist is to exchange USD for Argentine pesos blue rate and pay your hotel and other items with pesos. An American would have been charged by the hotel in USD at the bank rate, so this is a substantial savings.
Here is a small part of Alex’s Buenos Aires
©2014 Jeannie Wehrman
Tango street dancers
Famous Ricoleta Cemetery
Fabulous book store
Part of old town
3/02 /2015 Buenos Aires
Tigre Delta Tour with Link
Tigre Delta is a group of islands with homes anywhere from just a tin roof to very nice family homes. In some areas there are very few services, in other areas there are. There are services such as grocery delivery and trash carry out, all by boat of course.
3/03/2015 2nd visit to Montevideo, some different locations.
This is part of the Holocaust Memorial
Arriving back to our ship
Looking across to Montevideo
3/04/2015 Punta del Este
Today we decided to stay in and slept late. Pictures taken from our balcony.
3/06/2015 Puerto Madryn, Argentina second stop.
From our balcony
The trees are carved, doesn’t show up much on pictures
I had some other Puerto Madryn pictures, but couldn’t get them to load.
3/07/2015 Cruising at sea
3/08/2015 Cape Horn Chile Take a look at map here.
Tiffany asked me a question about the winds and seas we are in so I thought posting some info might help.
This is our 4th and final journey across the “end of the world”, see link above.
Jim braved the cold and wind two periods for about an hour each. Winds were 50 knots gusting to 60 (70mph). Temperature 30F. Jeannie stayed in the Oceanview Cafe with hot chocolate and watched from there.
Chilean Navy post
Can you see the mast of the sail boat? There were some pictures when the sailboat was clearer but they won’t load. Maybe it was a phantom boat??
3/09/2015 Ushuaia Argentina second visit, Jim bought a tshirt and I slept in.
3/10/2015 Punta Arenas Chile
Today we had booked an excursion North on the Brunswick Peninsula along the Straits of Magellan then to Otway Sound.
We were anchored by 8:30AM but about 9:00AM the Captain announced that the port was closed due to high winds and they would wait a while to see if the wind and seas calmed down. It would be too dangerous to tender with the wind and seas as they are.
It is now 10AM and we are on the move again. He is going to try to take us to Skua Glacier for about a two hour viewing tomorrow morning before we continue on our journey to Puerto Montt. Currently winds are 57mph, swells about 7 feet.
You cannot control Mother Nature.. The other day the last two tenders coming back to the ship bounced around out there for about an hour before they could get them hooked to the ship. I would not have wanted to be in one of those.
3/11/2015 Jim was out on deck 11 (outside) about 9AM for the Skua Glacier this morning. The Captain would pivot the ship so everyone had an opportunity to see and take pictures. I got some pictures also from our balcony. We stayed at the glacier about two hours.
3/11/2015 Skua Glacier
We had a really peaceful time after leaving the glacier and taking the Strait of Magellan to the Pacific Ocean. We certainly could tell when we met the Pacific and the rodeo started again.
With the exception of our first cruise all of our cabins have been rear facing aft cabins which makes the bed perpendicular to the ship. I believe in most balcony cabins the bed is parallel to the ship, that is how our first cabin was. It makes quite a bit of difference in the sensation in rough seas. I actually preferred the rocking of the first cabin, but not enough to give up being on the wake of the ship.
Our next port on 3/13/2015 is Puerto Montt Chile which is a tender port also.
Puerto Montt was named for the Chilean president at that time, Manuel Montt, and dates back to 1853 when a group of German immigrants decided to colonize the densely forested region around Lake Llanquihue. When train service arrived in the early 20th century, the city really took off. The city was ruined and then rebuilt after the 1960 earthquake.
This morning we took a tender boat from the ship to Puerto Montt. When we arrived in Puerto Montt our group was picked up and taken to Perez Rosales National Park and Petrohue River Falls.
This is a really pretty area, and the lake is quite impressive.
We came back to town and discovered a car club had a car show going on.
I think everyone had lunch of some sort, Jim and I had Crepes Suzette.
This rose is gorgeous
There was a car show too!
These guys were really good.
3/14/2015 At sea.
Next docked port is Valparaiso Chile on 3/15/2015. This is the end of the 2nd cruise and the beginning of the 3rd. Jim and I have a private tour booked for Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. I believe Valparaiso’s population is about 1 million.
We should be getting up in the 50-60F temperatures, yay for that!
We just got back from tonight’s show in the theater, and it was a really entertaining show.
Jim and I both agree that all of the staff on this ship are fantastic! The entertainment has been great, the food has been good. Both this cruise and the one before have been outstanding!
We are happy that we do not have to put our luggage in the hallway tonight, since we are still on board for two more weeks.
We count ourselves as very fortunate that we are able to travel like we do.
This will be the end of this page, time to move on to page three tomorrow.
Total distance 3,889 nautical miles. (1 nautical mile = 1.15 land mile)
After my photo software went a little crazy and would not let me edit, I have resorted to using underscore to make separations between photos and paragraphs. Fortunately it seems that this is the only page with the problem, so I can live with that.