We are awaken after a very restful night. We slept a long time last night and as we look out we can see we are still on our way to Punta Arenas even though it is 7 am we should be anchored. We soon find out that we will be a little late due to the wind.
No worries we have no big plans and I curl up in bed and watch the tv and update my blog. The Wake show is always a good laugh and we can’t get over how many people are writing in with comments and complaints. Time for me to bring some fun to the Wake Show. So I do up a letter to Lisa with a post it on it saying “please read before going live to edit if necessary”. Read the next blog to hear what I wrote and if she read it.
We see that there quite a few white caps in the water and the tender boat is bobbing up and down. We are in no rush and since there are so many tours trying to get off and so many who want to get off early we decide to wait.
We make our way to the Da Vinci dining room which is the spot for all those with priority boarding to wait. We enter and there are about 30 people in the dining room. We sit at a large table and soon another couple joins us. Right away they start complaining about stuff, silly things really. Now I am sure they must have something positive to say too but when the wife tries to say something good the husband cuts her off and complains some more. The weather, the tenders, the port, Ushuaia, the coffee, the AC, the heating, the linens…. On and on and on. Bernie and I look at each other and say our “code” word for change the subject… which I might add is sometimes hard to put into a sentence. Sorry can’t tell you the code I am sworn to secrecy.
The Captain comes on the speaker while we are waiting and announces that the tender ride will be very very bumpy and very long due to the high winds. Safety first. He recommends if you have an issue with motion sickness to maybe stay on board.
So after listening to this couple complain and complain and then the announcement I turn to him and say “would you be disappointed if we don’t go ashore” NOPE he quickly responds and we are off to the cabin. Now I will add we have been here before and I would of loved to have gotten off if I could of to see the city again but sometimes it is important to go with your instincts.
We later find out from those that did go ashore that the ride was horrible and very long. One couple said they were in the tender for an hour. They closed the upper seats for safety. People did get sick on the tenders. Long queues at the pier because it was so dangerous to tie up next to the pier at times. The wind did die down late afternoon around dinner time thankfully for the last few tenders. Although we did not pull up anchor until around 9:30 pm.
Some comments for Punta Arenas from the port lecturer you may find helpful. Taxi to Ottway Sound to see penguins is around $120. It is a 15 minute walk to the main square where you will find the statue of Magellan. At his feet are a pair of reclining Indians and the story is if you rub their big toe you will one day return, we did this last time we were here and we did return, but since we didn’t go ashore this time and rub it I am afraid we may not return. Surrounding statue are local vendors selling all kinds of stuff.
Around the plaza is the Hotel Jose Nogueira, former residence of one of the city’s wealthy matrons Sarah Braun. On the East side of the plaza is Punta Arenas’ larges hotels the Cabo de Hornos. The Cathedral is directly across the plaza from the hotel.
There is a small grocery story right near the pier that you can buy essentials. And currently the exchange rate is 529 Chilean Pesos to $1 US dollar.