A Travellerspoint blog

Stanley. East Falkland

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

This morning was cold, windy and very bleak as we approached the port of Stanley on the Falkland Island. Today's visit is a tendered port which requires us to be ferried from ship to shore in small boats. The process is well practised and quite efficient. Boarding the tender has never been easier and the 20 minute ride to the pier was relatively smooth but quite cold.

We were dressed in multiple layers which proved to be adequate until we started to walk into the wind. Although it wasn't raining we donned our rain jackets which took the edge off that chill wind. The houses are all painted in a variety of colours and most appear to be well maintained. There were many Union Jack flags flying proudly in the brisk breeze. The island people are proudly and fiercely British and have a wealth of memorials to demonstrate their gratitude for the action taken by Margaret Thatcher to drive out the Argentines.

Gift shops abound and all have a plethora of penguin memorabilia. Stuffed toys in many sizes and ceramic version adorned many shelves. Churches and public buildings are well maintained and there was no shortage of high end 4X4 SUV vehicles. Modern Range Rovers and Land Cruisers competed with some vintage Landrovers.

We walked for over two hours and managed to leave the island without doing much for the local economy. Speaking of which, the island is economically fully independent with the exception of Defence which is provided by Britain. Any military presence was low key except for a quick fly-over by a jet fighter.

The return trip on the tender was again uneventful and we were back aboard in time for a late lunch.

Managed to stay awake through the Afternoon Movie, strange show called "Foxcatcher" supposedly based on a true story.

Dinner on our own, Mary and Don didn't make it. Finished in time to make the early show in the Theatre where we were treated to two excellent performances. First up was Lee Bayless who again talked his way through a number of funny tales. He then topped that off with a number of very clever 'magic' tricks. He was almost overshadowed by the second act in the form of some very clever and funny renditions of songs by Dan Riley who managed to extract an impressive amount of audience participation.

Back to the cabin to pen this tale as the ship heads towards the Cape Horn on a SouthWesterly course. Tomorrow we sail around the Cape and then on to Ushuaia.

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 15:46 Archived in Falkland Islands Comments (1)

At Sea - Still Heading South

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


View 2015-02 South America on greynomadm's travel map.

The clouds and colours of this morning's sunrise went through a lot of changes over 45 minutes. We're still at sea heading South towards the Falkland Islands. The outside temperature is about 10 °C and will get progressively colder over the next four days, it was only days ago that the temperature was close to 30 °C.

Sorry for the 'late' posting of yesterday's blog and picture. I had a devil of a time trying to maintain a connection and wasted 12 minutes while achieving nothing. I went down to the Internet Cafe at 0500 this morning and was able to upload everything without a problem.

The series of lectures continues with Amy Rubin presenting the music of Brazil's composer Heitor Villa-Labos. I'm not sure that I'm understanding it more but I still enjoy it. We also found out that fellow passenger Al plays the flute and we arranged a private concert for this afternoon. It isn't all that grand, he's agreed to play it for us in the limited confines of their cabin.

The Destination Presentation once again attracted overflowing crowds with people siting on the stairs and standing around the sides. He described the scenic cruising around Cape Horn, our viewing of the Chilean glaciers and our visit to Ushuala. His show was followed by another lecture by Peter LaSorsa during which he provided a number of practical measures we could take to reduce ourselves as target for criminal attack. Many of his tips were very innovative but somewhat impractical.

Had a quick bite of pizza before joining Al and Deb in their cabin. Al played some lovely tunes and deb sang along to one of them. There was a lot of feeling in their music.

Dressed up for another formal night and enjoyed a lovely meal again with Mary & Don. The photographers urged us to pose for a snap at the dinner table. Could be a nice one to buy if it turns out. We're not bothering with the "Production Show" tonight which leaves me with little else to report.

Tomorrow we arrive in Stanly in the Falkland Islands.

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 13:43 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Sea Day - Heading South

Monday, 23 February 2015


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Early morning temperatures are markedly cooler as we head ever further towards Antarctica. I captured the sunrise after a less than promising start. I'm still trying to work out why the biggest, blackest and ugliest cloud is always in line with the location where the sun is rising. The sunrise was late again 0723 by my clock. A light breakfast, shower and change and off to the Theatre for today's lecture series.

First up was a continuation of my musical education. I've come to realise that this is like another language and one that must be felt so that all feelings can be expressed in this language. Once again Amy Rubin took us through a journey of exploration with recordings, video clips and a wonderful live performance. I still don't understand but I'm learning to appreciate.

Next was the Destination Presentation for Port Stanley, from all accounts this will be one of the really noteworthy destinations on this voyage. Hard on the heels of his performance we sat through an interesting lecture on 'Identity Theft'. It was presented by Peter LaSorsa a lawyer from Boston, now living in Chicago. He covered all the sensible and simple steps to protect our personal details.

We stayed around for the afternoon movie "Argo" and quickly realise we'd seen it on a previous cruise. Went to the Horizon Court for a bite to eat and then back to the cabin to take care of the daily house-keeping tasks such as writing this blog, selecting the photo of the day and making a quick study of the internals of my eyelids.

Lovely dinner in the dining room with Mary and Donald. The food is so much better than the Horizon, I wonder why we don't make the effort every night.

Tonight's entertainment in the Theatre was Greg Schlotthaur who sang many famous songs and played some excellent music on the piano.
Tomorrow we continue South for another sea day to Stanly in the Falkland Islands.

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 00:15 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Montevideo, Uruguay

Sunday, 22 February 2015


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With the time being adjusted for daylight saving, this morning's sunrise was relatively late at about 0730. The sun rose into a cloudless sky and the event was brief and not very spectacular. We had a simple breakfast and assembled in the Wheelhouse Bar to follow the now established routine for our Shore Excursion during which we visited the soccer stadium and the Legislative Palace.

There were some brief stops for photographs but most of the time we spent slowly driving around the tree-lined streets and avenues of the upper and middle class districts of the city. As it was a Sunday the streets were largely deserted and the driver was able to make a number of incredible manoeuvres in that large coach.

The city appears even more tranquil than Buenos Aires and is equally blessed with lots of parks and trees. Also in common with the previous city there is evidence of a depressed economy and despite the grandeur of many public buildings it is a third-world country.

We returned to the ship in time for the afternoon movie which featured 'Slumdog Millionaire'. A very confronting story in many ways with many horrendous scenes of brutality and abject poverty.

The movie finished in time to have dinner in the Horizon Court. It was ironic that while we are in a region famous for lots of meat, our choices were meatballs presented five ways. They tasted OK but were a far cry from the massive steaks offered in the on-shore eateries.

Next stop for the day was the Explorer's Lounge to be entertained by the fast-paced humour of Lee Bayless. A very funny man who reads all manner of unintended messages into innocent everyday signs.

Back to the cabin to review today's images and compose this brief description of the day's events. We are currently heading East in the Rio de la Plata before we turn South for two sea days to Stanly in the Falkland Islands.

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 15:11 Archived in Uruguay Comments (0)

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Saturday, 21 February 2015


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This morning the ship entered the Rio de la Plata under the guidance of the river pilot. The river is 100 miles wide but there are limited navigable channels. The sunrise was delayed due to an overcast sky. It did eventually break through and created some interesting displays. A busy breakfast as many of the passengers are eager to go ashore.

We assembled in the Wheelhouse Bar to be allocated our bus number for the four hour guided tour ashore. Because our berth is in a working port we are required to use a Port Authority shuttle to travel to the terminal building. There we disembarked, walked through the very elegant facility and found our way to the tour coach.

The coach was very comfortable and our guide both informative and entertaining. The tour took us along the many wide boulevards and down narrow lanes as our guide pointed out the significant, the unusual and the bizarre structures along the way. The city has many parks and tree-lined streets. The visit to the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral coincided with the changing of the guard. We had time to wander through this magnificent church and admire the many works of art.

Next stop was in the district of La Boca with the hundreds of brightly painted buildings, the murals and the colourful good for sale at every turn. Almost every stall sells hats and leather goods also tend to dominate the stalls. Back on the coach to our final stop, the La Recoleta cemetery. An amazing city of 6400 mausoleums constructed of the finest materials in styles ranging from the neoclassical to the art deco. The primary attraction is the crypt where Eva Peron was buried. Back to the port through the up-market Puerto Madera district and the district of Palermo which is home to the zoo and a number of museums.

The city appears clean and safe and despite signs of neglect, due to the general economic downturn, was a pleasant experience in contrast to the cities in Brazil.

Back aboard I spent some time watching the operation of the port and the general activity amongst the thousands of containers being unloaded and stacked. Mary called in to tell us she and Donald would not be dining in the dining room. We decided to join them for dinner in the Horizon Court. We then made our way to the Theatre for this evening's show by Gaucho Del Plata and the vocalist Claude Eric.

Feeling quite weary, I'm struggling to write this tome. Sorry if it is a bit fractured.

For some reason the clocks go forward an hour and we'll be in Montevideo tomorrow.

If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 16:10 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

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