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South America Cruise 2006

Patty had never been to South America and we had never taken a cruise this early in the year (March) - of course it is really late summer in the southern hemisphere. Harry and Ellen again accompanied us, however, this time Patty and I had a tour package that included Rio de Janeiro and the Iguaçu Falls between Brazil and Argentina before starting the cruise in Buenos Aires.

If you want to see more pictures of something, be sure to look for the 'click here' option. We realize not everyone wants to see a dozen different pictures of penguins or waterfalls.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil hotel view southBrazil hotel view of beach below room

We arrived at the Sheraton, Rio and discovered a great view on the 20th floor. To the south we could see beautiful coastline and houses with a spectacular ocean view. We found out these are very poor slums and if you don't live there you shouldn't think about even trying to drive through.

All beaches in Rio are public, so the hotel beach in front of us was filled with Brazilians enjoying the water.

To the north we could see Ipanema Beach. It was so great we even took a picture at sunset.

Brazil hotel view north daylightBrazil hotel view north duskTrain to Christ the Redeemer statuePatty & Christ the Redeemer statuePatty & Craig high above the cloudsLooking down on Rio

The second day we took a tram to the Christ the Redeemer statue where Patty had her picture taken. It was a cloud covered day and you can barely make out Sugar Loaf between the picture of Patty and Craig, but the lagoon was still a beautiful shot.

After coming back down the tram we went to a traditional Brazilian lunch (for vegetarians???) and saw some of the city's architecture. The Pyramid cathedral was very unique, as were some of the office buildings (trees are planted in the open spaces).

Lunch at a Brazillian resturauntPyramid CathedralBrazillian architectureView of Christ the Redeemer from Sugar Loaf

We concluded our day in Rio with a trip to Sugar Loaf. The ride up was exciting, but the view from the top was spectacular. The sky has cleared some and Patty thinks she may be able to fly to Copacabana beach. The view of Cable car to Sugar Loafdowntown Rio shows where we were atop Christ the Redeemer.

Patty atop Sugar Loaf

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil and Argentina

Iguaçu FallsPatty in front of Iguaçu FallsWe next flew to Iguaçu Falls on the border between Brazil and Argentina. There are 275 different falls over a distance of 2.5 miles, making them one of the world's largest. Brazil is on the left bank and the remaining land is Argentina. This river is a major tributary to the Rio Uruguay, dividing Argentina and Uruguay.

You can barely see our hotel in the clearing to the left of the photo.

If these pictures pique your interest click here or on the pictures to see more.

Patty in front of the upper falls from the Brazilian side.

Buenos Aries, Argentina

Following the visit to Iguaçu Falls we flew to Buenos Aries and took in a Tango Show.

obelisk on 9 de Julio Avenidaold town hall

Before boarding the Regal Princess the next morning, we saw a bit more of the city.

Metropolitan CathedralCasa Rosada

These are pictures moving around the Plaza de Mayo Cabildo clockwise from the upper right: old town hall (currently a museum), entrance to the square from obelisk on 9 de Julio Avenida (widest street in the world), Metropolitan Cathedral, Casa Rosada (where Eva Peron gave her famous speech from the shaded balcony left of the entrance).

The cruise officially started when we boarded the Regal Princess.

This map shows all the stops on our cruise. We were unable to get to the Pio Xi Glacier because of weather, but we did cruise by the Amalia Glacier. While we ended our cruise in Valparaiso, we immediately bussed to Santiago for 2 additional days.

For a large picture of Patty and Craig, plus another view of the cruise itinerary, click here or on the map.

Montevideo, Uruguay

The tallest peak in Uruguay

After a 'sailing away' party from Buenos Aires, we arrived in Montevideo early the next morning. This port was not a highlight of our cruise and about all I remember is the fact that there is a central square for both the city and individual residences, plus the highest mountain is about 400 meters high {see right}. Oh yes, the Graf Spee was scuttled in the harbor in 1939.

central square in citycentral square in a homeGraf Spee ranging device

Graf Spee ranging device for artillery and an anchor.

Puerto Madryn

Craig, Patty, Ellen, Harry

We arrived - we shopped - we ate - we left.

It was here we found the best food and drink. The grappa was the best anywhere in the world - so far.


We have a dining room table for six.

Craig, Harry, Roger

Craig, Harry, & Roger

Nana, Ellen, Patty

Nana, Ellen & Patty

suprisePatty, Steve, Roni

Friends from our Iguaçu Falls tour - Steve & Roni


Falklands Islands

Falklands Islands windswept coast

The Falklands Islands (Islas Malvinas to Argentina) are a very wind swept place.

We were there on a mild day and the waves had a very windy crest.

Farmland in the Falklands

The farm on the left contained the area known as Bluff Cove - where the Gentoo penguins were located.

Gentoo penguins on Bluff Cove

We got there using 4-wheel drive vehicles and it was one of the roughest ride of our lives. The land was somewhat of a bog and the ruts were very deep.

Falklands Islands map

This is the march of the Bluff Cove penguins.

To see more penguin pictures click here or on the penguin picture.

The people on these English speaking islands are very sensitive about the Argentinean invasion in 1982. One reason is the areas that were mined, but cannot be removed without extreme danger. They are marked and you are repeatedly warned not to enter them

Craig & Patty on a seesaw

These pictures are of Fitzroy, a site of some of the fighting.

Harry & Ellen visiting a memorial

Craig and Patty found time to use a seesaw.

Harry and Ellen visit a memorial to the soldiers who lost their lives.

Cape Horn, Chile

Cape HornCraig & Patty rounding Cape Horn

The southern most land in the world, aside from the continent of Antarctica.

This is where the Andes finally sink into the ocean.

Click here or on the pictures to see a page on Cape Horn.

Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia main streetUshuaia map

We backtracked a bit to the east after rounding Cape Horn, then proceeded to Ushuaia, on the Beagle Channel. This is the most southern major city in the world. Frankly, I thought it looked like Anchorage, Alaska with a bit more slope. As you can see from the picture below, it graduates into the mountains.

The long entry dock meant the Regal Princess looked as if it was tendered in the harbor.

Ushuaia from the shipRegal Princess from Ushuaia harbor Roni & Steve say goodby to Ushuaia

The chocolate was superb, and Harry found his cigars at the least expensive price anywhere - so he got a box - but the beer and grappa just wasn't up to the standard we had found in Puerto Madryn.

View of the Regal Princess from the harbor.

Roni and Steve say goodbye to Ushuaia


JackieJackie and PattyJackie & Jason

Jackie and Jason joined us on the Iguaçu Falls tour.

Patty & Craig

They were a friendly, young couple and she reminded Patty of her niece Jennifer.

This was sort of like a 2nd honeymoon for Patty & Craig

Punta Arenas, Chile

Punta Arenas city center parkPunta Arenas City Hall

When you follow the Beagle Channel west to the Pacific Ocean, then cut in to the Strait of Magellan and head north, you reach Punta Arenas, Chile. This was a major port in the days before the Panama Canal, as ships used this path to avoid Cape Horn.

Magdalena Penguins

Activity centers around the usual city square and city hall, but it is the geography, not the city that draws visitors.

Magdalena Penguins are found on Isla Magdalena. To see more pictures of the Magdalena penguin click here or on the penguin picture.

Amalia Glacier, Chile

Harry near Amalia GlacierPatty near Amalia Glacier

Moving west in the Strait of Magellan we came to the Pacific Ocean and almost immediately turned back into the fjords.

We became glacier watchers and both Harry and Patty are shown here.

View of the Amalia Glacier

The captain brought the ship into the glacier and spun it around twice so every cabin could have a spectacular view.

closeup of the Amalia GlacierAmalia Glacier

Puerto Montt

Mt. Osorno on Lake Llanquihue

Puerto Mott was the unexpected surprise on our journey. We had no expectations for this port, but it turned out to be very beautiful and full of fun. It is the place in Chile where the Andes begin to sink into the Pacific Ocean, ending at Cape Horn. South of here are thousands of islands and fjords. The city itself isn't much, but the Lake District lives up to its name. This picture above was taken from inside a restaurant in the German settlement of Frutillar (see the map below). A picture of Frutillar is on the right with Puerto Mott on the left.

Mt. Osorno on Lake Llanquihue, Chile.

The Regal Princess in portMap of Puerto Montt

Here is a map of where we went and what we saw.

Patty, Ellen, and Harry went to Frutillar and could see the ever-present Mt. Osorno.

Craig went white water rafting and passed the foot of Mt. Osorno.

Starting out on the rapidsCraig on the rapidsrapids partner Jamesgoing down the rapids

Four 6 person rafts set out over class 3 rapids.

We spent over an hour going through several rapids.

Craig's rapids partner, James

Harry & EllenResturant in the harbor

Returning from Frutillar, Harry, Ellen, and Patty saw parts of Puerto Mott and ate a fabulous lunch at a restaurant extending over the ocean.

They even had a great view of the Regal Princess, tendered in the harbor.

Regal Princess from the resturantCraig

Leaving Puerto Mott, Craig had a view of the volcanoes.

Roni and Steve are relaxing and watching the islands go by.

Roni & SteveSailing through the fjords

This shot was taken off the starboard side of the ship. One of the real joys of cruising is traveling through fjords and inside passages.

Santiago, Chile

Ellen and Patty looking at the Queen Mary 2

The Queen Mary 2 was berthed next to us when we arrived in Valparaiso, Chile. We took a bus into Santiago.Once there, our hotel - Plaza San Francisco - was a fantastic choice, and very reasonable.

street market scene

Santiago is a large city, much like Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires. However, you can look one way and see huge numbers of people, buses, and modern office buildings. Just turn around and you may see several blocks of open vendors and vegetable stands. Walk around the corner and you may find an old world ambiance that makes you think you are in Europe.

The palace houses a museum under the front gate.

old world ambiancecrowded modern citySantiago Palace
Ellen feeding pigeons

Ellen photographing the pigeons in Plaza de Armas.

We finally said goodbye to Santiago, Chile and took the long flight home. It had been a really, really fun time.