Monday, January 8, 2018

Ushuaia and the Ocean Diamond Cruise Ship, January 8, 2018

Naturally I had an awesome sleep in my expensive hotel room.  Breakfast was excellent and once I was kicked out of my room, I went exploring Ushuaia-

The Hard Rock is very expensive but so is all of Ushuaia.  You're at their mercy because there is no where else to go when you're at the end of the world.  I needed to change some Chilean pesos to Argentinian pesos so found a cambio that had excellent exchange rates.  I didn't realize that the teller hadn't given me my passport back until I was about to board the bus to go to the ship so I ran back to where I thought the cambio place was and went up and down streets until I finally found the shop on the third block.  I ran back to the bus and sat and sweated for about 15 minutes before we finally left for the boat.  I could just imagine not finding my passport at all and watching the boat sail away!  Anyway, things turned out fine.  And as always, there are worse stories. Three women I sat with at supper were stranded in JFK and they just arrived this morning... without their luggage!  They had to scramble to buy some warm clothes and luckily the boat has some donations.  They have nothing!  Anyway.....

Lunch was at a Parilla, supposedly the best one in the city.  The chimichurra was the best yet but the steak was only mediocre-

Margeurita and Weibke found me in my hotel and we had coffee.  They walked me to the bus and that's when I had the missing passport episode.  Poor Margeurita was attacked by bedbugs last night!  Yuck.  They both 'borrowed' books from my hotel - they are voracious readers.  It passes the time on the truck.

At 4, I was finally on the Ocean Diamond-

It holds 189 passengers and 144 crew in 101 cabins.  The boat is 125 meters long, 16 meters wide and travels at 15.5 knots.  There's a bar, two dining rooms, a theatre, gym, store, observation lounge and library.  My cabin is on the Captain's Deck/6th floor and was supposed to have an obstructed view but I can see everything!  I also have a king sized bed-

tv, DVD player-

and a sweet bathroom-

I am living the life!

We had our safety meeting-

met the crew and learned about what's coming.  I went to the kayak meeting but for $1000 US, said no thank you!  Imagine!  And it's possible that the water will be too rough to go out everyday!  Supper was fancy but actually kind of tasteless until dessert - chocolate mousse.  I hope the flavours improve tomorrow.  I met a retired teacher from P.A. Carleton and a woman from Victoria.  The marine biologist is from Quebec and a woman from Melbourne is married to a man from Edmonton.  Those are the only Canadians so far.  There are lots of Americans, some Aussies and Germans and a variety of ages.  I'm looking forward to meeting more people as the days unfold.  

Once leaving Ushuaia ... where did the beautiful sunny day go?-

we went through the Beagle Channel, so named after a boat that went through in the late 1800s carrying none other than Charles Darwin.  Chile is on the right-

Argentina on the left-

The boat has quite a few zodiacs which we'll be using twice a day for our excursions-  

We got our bright yellow parkas-

And now we just sit back for the next two days and hope the sea isn't too rough!  It could be because there are barf bags in my room!

I just finished reading an excellent book by Jen Sincero who says  "Our entire experience on this planet is determined by how we choose to perceive our reality." I've got a pretty awesome reality going on right now and I'm loving it!

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