Puerto Arenas Day 12
The day started with a quick breakfast so I could get on a tender that would get me to shore and the bus for a tour to the Ottway sound to see penguins. This was not the largest colony of Magellenic penguins – there is one island that has over 70,000 mating pairs – but it is unique because you can get very close to where they burrow to make their nests. According to Ava, our tour guide, this is one breed that stays together for life – coming back to the same burrow to lay eggs and raise new chicks. If one bird tries to hone in on another’s burrow, a fight may start. One the way to the penguin reserve, we also saw a special breed of llamas, a skunk, and several different breeds of birds, including a pair of the local breed of hawks! We were travelling through sheep country, so of course we saw sheep and even a shepherd on horseback with a pair of sheep dogs.
Ava, kept us very entertained. She told us about Puerto Arenas and the typical weather – windy. She said she was built for wind stability. Good to know that I am also built for wind stability! She speaks English Spanish and Germany – interchangeably – so it was fun listening to her.
Then we got to the penguins. Did I mention I’ve been taking pictures? I think I may have over done it today. Continuous shooting is my new friend! Then, there are the videos. I can also say it was VERY WINDY.
Heading back to Puerto Arenas, we stopped at the main plaza and I opted to walk back to the ship. In the centre of this plaza is a statue of Magellan. Around the base of this statue are four other statues – one is a mermaid with two tales that represents the place where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Pacific Ocean. There are two statues that represent the native peoples from Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. The last statue is one of the World. There is a local artisans craft market in the plaza as well. Several of the merchants had these little wooden wagons that reminded me of something a Gypsy or Romany might have. I have not figured out the Chilean currency exchange rate yet, so I just looked at things before heading back to the ship.
Of course, I met up with my ship family at dinner. While the food was good, this was not my favourite dinner. I had shrimp cocktail curry peanut soup, a strange version of shrimp scampi, and crème brulee. I think it was the shrimp scampi that really through me – It was not the “shrimp, garlic, butter and lemon” I was expecting.
The show this night was the Pampas Devils Tango show – and I made sure I was sitting “up close”. I loved it – especially since they showed various types of tango, not just the “show dancing”. There was even a very cool tango between the two men in the group. They also did several dances with bolos. For comedic relief, they brought a man from the audience to teach him how to spin the bolos – and he accidently let one go and it flew into the audience! Fortunately, his were “practice” soft ones, however the main performer was so surprised, he fell on his back on the stage in laughter!
After the show, I headed to the Constellation Bar for dancing. While I was sitting at the bar, one of the officers, who is from Turkey, told the bartender Rowena (from Dominican) to keep my tab open. And Ken (the Hotel Manager) filled me in on the weather in Toronto. As the music got better (I guess I should say as the salsa band started playing), I had to dance. I guess I was a hit because a couple from England came up to me and told me I was a good dancer (they actually went out of their way to tell me – so that was really nice).
What can I say – it was another perfect day!