This was the ultimate trip of a lifetime, only 1 word – amazing!! We saw and did so much and so many different things! We saw Chile, Patagonia, Argentina (and sort of Brazil for a few hours!). Wow!! I started planning this trip over year in advance, I wanted to get it perfect and also save up for the adventure. Thanks to Eli Hardcastle at http://www.imaginetravel.com – it was fabulous!
So it all began in Santiago in Chile, we arrived with http://www.britishairways.com in the morning and went straight to our hotel to dump our bags. Then we went for a wander and some lunch. We had a walking tour booked for the afternoon. Lunch was delicious, a good start with empanadas, fish and pork. And our first South American #weestop.
The walking tour was by a Russian lady, very knowledgeable and taking in the gardens, churches, commercial areas and palaces.
I had pre-booked dinner via http://www.tripadvisor.com at a wine bar called http://bocanariz.cl/ for dinner. We were definitely not disappointed, especially after a few wine flights and tastings. Yum!
Food was great too, we opted for a sharing platter. We picked a good night as a street procession went passed whilst we were enjoying ourselves so added to the atmosphere. Then back to the hotel for some much needed jetlagged sleep.
Next day was ours to wander. We found the markets and took the tram to the top of the hill.
We then walked for miles and found a sandwicherie. Lovely food and good beverages to wash it down. #weestop!
Found a very tasty craft beer bar too, it literally only served beer nothing else but that wasn’t a problem as they were good!
Dinner was a bit random this night, I booked an aboriginal restaurant … it was a bit odd. We went with the tasting menu. Lots of very tiny pieces of food … including a bread board that did not look like bread and were the size of peas!
Luckily there was an urn pot nearby which was good for any inedible scraps! It was a fun meal though, just not very tasty!
After here we found Lemmy’s (Motorhead) bar! Great beers but pretty strong, good for a nightcap!
Next day we were picked up and headed to Casablanca to stay on a vineyard for a night. Such a beautiful setting.
Lovely lunch then a tour of the vineyard with tastings, of course!!
Then back to the room to chill ready for dinner.
Lovely dinner with local wines too!
Next day off the airport and flight to Punta Arenas.
Just an overnight stay ready to board our ship for the Patagonia adventure the next day.
It was a bank holiday in Punta Arenas so a bit quiet, we found a pizza place for lunch then wandered about, eventually finding some nice bars #weestop!
We had dinner at our hotel, a bit of a strange hotel but worth spending the night and dinner was really good – very tasty lamb!
Breakfast was a bit odd including Tiramsu with my choice, hmmmmmmmmm not sure about that!
Had the morning a leisure so strolled about, bit chilled but we wrapped up warm.
Saw our boat arrived too. Checked in for the boat but couldn’t board until 5pm so had a late lunch! Wow!! We’d heard the lamb was good but this was beyond amazing! BBQ lamb and they bring up the different cuts separately!
So tasty and succulent!! A rather large feed but would keep us going until a later dinner.
After a safety briefing we were allowed to board.
Little excited wander about the ship (finding the beer fridge!!) we got our barings!
Introduction presentation then cleaned up for dinner.
The 4 nights were all inclusive including the trips too!
Next day off the zodiacs, split into 2 languages and different abilities.
We went for an easy one to start and was a gentle stroll through forestry with some beautiful scenery. Then hot chocolate with whisky before zodiacs back to the ship. Lunch was delicious, massive salad bar, lots of hot choices and tasty desserts too.
Afternoon excursion was to see the penguins, we weren’t allowed to disembark but got very close. Back to the ship for tour of the ‘Bridge’ (where the captain works the boat!) and also down to the staff quarters/engine. Interesting to see how it all works, and how clean everywhere is kept.
Next day was the glaciers, so huge and fascinating to watch parts drop off. You think it’s just a few inches of ice but actually it’s so large that the chunks falling off are about 10 meters tall!
We then went down glacier alley – 5 glaciers named after 5 European countries – France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. It was a beautiful day so in just tshirts we stood on deck.
The crew served us canapes and drinks to match the countries. We had such a laugh with the other guests from these countries and also Australia, South America etc.
The ship could hold over 200 people as guest but on our trip we were only 64, with 65 member of crew. So lucky we were totally spoilt!
Final day was the outing that is always touch and go if you’ll make it off the boat due to the weather, we got lucky!! Cape Horn – we made it!
A long climb up the steep steps then on to the monument, lighthouse and small church. One family of 4 with 2 kids lives on the island. The kids paint rocks to sell to tourists … not many of those. We literally went days without seeing another boat! So tranquil!
We met a some lovely Australians, uncle and nephew travelling together. The uncle had been in the military and it was his wish to visit Cape Horn. He made it and was proud and so happy! Lovely people!
Such great memories – part 2 of our trip coming soon! …
Top tip: definitely go on the Australis cruise – not cheap but a once in a lifetime treat!
Top tip 2: Try the Patagonia lamb – you won’t be disappointed!