Learning how to photograph different things while I travel is part of the challenge and is becoming a passion. When I took a cruise around the tip of South America, not only sis I see cities and expansive landscapes, but I become challenged by taking photographs of wildlife. Here are some of my favorite photos of wildlife.
First group: sea lions in Argentina.
Hitching a ride!
This group a seals found a floating dock to use as a place to catch some rays — and to play in the surf.
Birds have been more difficult for me. Here are some of my first attempts at taking photos of birds. These were taking new Cape Horn.
Off the coast of Ushuaia, Argentina, there are groups of islands that are homes to various seals, sea lions, and water birds.
And of course, there are penguins!
So, I started looking for other opportunities. In the Canadian Maritimes, I was able to get a fox on a beach at sunset, I got “photo-bombed” by a seal near Cheticamp, and watched an eagle fish on Bras d’Or.
And finally, from near where I live, is Niagara Falls. If you look closely, you can see at least twobirds in this picture.
I had a remarkable travel year in 2012. Here is a list of the of some of the highlights of my travel adventures.
Buenos Aires: I rang in 2012 at a special tango show and fell in love with Argentina. I stayed at Maggie’s B&B — great location just off Avenue de Mayo and Maggie was very friendly and helpful.
Punto del Estes, Uruguay: While it was very cold in Toronto, on January 3, 2012, I was basking in the sun on a beautiful beach watching a lab puppy take its first steps into the ocean.
Montevideo, Uruguay: I had no set plans for wandering around Montevideo, however as soon as I walked off the ship, I was met by a very friendly tour guide who arranged a small tour for 5 of us in a van. It was a great way to see the city. At the end, we were dropped off in the city centre where we wandered through the streets before returning to the ship.
Puerto Madryn, Argentina: Who would have thought that Welsh was spoken here — brought from Welsh immigrants who settled in this part of Patagonia. Desolute, yet beautiful, I had a proper Welsh tea, complete with scones and clotted cream in Gaimen and saw some of the local wildlife — in the form of sea lions. A couple of them even tried to board a ship!
Cape Horn, Chile: I’ve already talked about this in an earlier post. It is still one of my highlights of my travel adventures — to “round the Cape” while schooners of old.
Ushuaia, Argentina: This is another place I cannot talk enough about — from the beauty of the mountains and Tierra Del Fuego National Park, to the quaintness of the city, to more wildlife, more isolation, and the gateway to Antarctica. Yes, I will want to come back here and spend more time. It is stunningly beautiful!
Sailing through the Beagle Channel: How could I forget standing on the deck of the ship in a formal dress and taking pictures of the massive glaciers that line the sides of this waterway. I am still surprised I got any pictures, as I was shivering! But every time I thought I was head back inside to the warmth, I would caught a glimpse of a new wonder — and would stay outside, mesmerized by the beauty.
Punta Arenas, Chile: Not only a nice place place to stop for handicrafts, but also a great place to see wildlife. I went to Ottway Sound to see a colony of Magellanic penguins — penguins are just too cute! Then is was a chance to visit the market in the centre of town.
Puerto Montt: While the town is not really much to see, once we were outside, there were volcanoes, waterfalls, and lakes! Plus an amazing lunch of local fish and pisco sours!
Valpairso, Chile: The sad part is leaving the ship — it was the best cruise I’d ever taken — but Valpairso is very interesting and close to nice beaches and a wine country that reminded me of Napa Valley.
Santiago, Chile: I think by now on my journey, I was getting tired and it was really hot — not a good combination for me. But I did see some interesting things and got a great sunset picture!
And this ends part one of my travel year in review!
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!