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World Travels 2023 - 2024 First Leg 10 Dec 23 - 11 Feb 2024, Montevideo, Uruguay - Valparaiso, Chile

Updated: Jan 13



Gerlache Strait - 12 Jan 2024




Entering the Drake Passage



The most popular drink on the ship while we cross the Drake Passage



My first look at the Gerlache Strait



Floating Icebergs everywhere



Paradise Bay, Antarctica



Paradise Bay, Antarctica




Snowing on the ship in Paradise Bay, Antarctica



Paradise Bay, Antarctica from the window of the Vitality Spa



Photos from Paradise Bay, Antarctica


Today’s the day you need to break out those cold weather clothes and layer yourself to keep warm as we arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula, the closest part of the continent to South America.

 

Although I won’t be getting off the ship here there will be incredible frigid and wild scenery to see along with a variety of wildlife.

 

The first area to visit is supposed to be the Gerlache Strait, a famous piece of water on the west side of the peninsula that separates it from the Palmer Archipelago, and home to blue icebergs, humpback and minke whales who feed on the swarms of krill here, plus snow-covered mountains.

 

I hope to spot penguins standing or sunning on ice floes.

 

The strait is 200 km (124 mi) long, is 50 km (31 mi) wide on its northern end and as narrow as 10 km (6.2 mi) wide on the southern end.

 

It’s named in honor of Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache who first explored the area in 1898, although the discoverer himself originally named it “Belgiac Strait”.

 

Many consider it the most beautiful area on the continent.

 

Paradise Bay is a harbor near Lemaire and Bryce Islands with jagged, rock-like chunks of ice that overlook the bay, also where whales and gentoo penguins live.

 

This spot is one of the coldest and windiest places on Earth where the weather is unpredictable and cruise routes can change at the last minute.

 

I’m really hoping we’ll get to see the glacial mountains reflected on the icy waters, along with the massive glaciers and scattered icebergs that can be found here.

 

The channel connects the Gerlache Strait with Dalhan Bay.

 

This spot is a great place to see leopard seals, dolphins, maybe even a blue whale, plus more penguins and humpback or minke whales.

 

Adrien de Gerlache named the channel for Fans Schollaert, a Belgian statesman who later became prime minister.

 

I am definitely among the lucky few who ever get to see this wild and wonderful place.

 

Enjoy!

 





Peninsula Valdes Wildlife Sanctuary, Puerto Madryn, Argentina - 9 Jan 2024


I will travel across the Patagonian countryside, arriving at the stunning Peninsula Valdes, an UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized as one of the world’s most pristine nature reserves.


I plan to explore the Visitor Center where I will learn about the flora and fauna that inhabit this remarkable region.


Then, I will journey to Caleta Valdes, a sheltered bay home to many unique marine creatures, including a thriving population of sea mammals and Patagonian shore and sea birds.


It is a lookout for the small penguin colony that lives there in harmony with nature.


Finally I will take a scenic drive across the Patagonian countryside to visit the sheltered bay of Caleta Valdés and the sea lion colony at Puerto Piramides.


I plan to take many pictures and videos of the diverse wildlife and fauna of this magnificent sanctuary.


Entering Puerto Madryn, Argentina



Nice chilly day entering into Puerto Madryn, Argentina.



Bus ride to Peninsula Valdes Wildlife Sanctuary.



Peninsula Valdes Wildlife Sanctuary Welcome Center



Peninsula Valdes Wildlife Sanctuary open expanse



Peninsula Valdes Wildlife Sanctuary Elephant Seals Lounging on the beach.



Peninsula Valdes Wildlife Sanctuary Elephant Seals frolicking in the water.



Peninsula Valdes Wildlife Sanctuary penguins being. cute.



Very blustering windy day to observe the elephant seals and cute penguins.



Aristocratic Buenos Aires and Colon Theatre - 6 Jan 2024

 

Discover the charm of Buenos Aires – a town with an old soul and metropolitan flare.

 

Once among the world’s leading powers, Buenos Aires’ still exudes an air of glamour that can be traced back to a bygone era when European influence and wealth abounded across Argentina.

 

Today, you’ll delve into the city’s hidden – but not forgotten – affluent past while exploring its most extravagant landmarks, including the Colón Theater, Museo de Arte Decorativo and Recoleta Cemetery.

 

Visit the magnificent Colón Theater, South America’s largest and most extravagant opera house.

 

Explore the French neoclassical-styled Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo, once the residence of Argentinean Matías and Josefina Errazúriz.

 

Discover the Recoleta Cemetery, the city’s famous above-ground cemetery that houses the ornate mausoleums of notable figures, including Eva Perón.

 


Buenos Aires Opera House



Outside of the Colon Opera House



Inside Foyer of the Colon Opera House



Inside the Main Theater


Buenos Aires Cemetary



City of the Dead



Eva Peron Mausoleum


Buenos Aires Museum of Decorative Arts



Art Pieces from all over the world



Classic Chinese art Pieces




Iguazu Falls, Argentina

 

Team,

 

Tomorrow I will Experience the awe-inspiring beauty and might of the Iguazu Falls, a collection of nearly 300 massive cascades.

 

Following a scenic flight to Puerto Iguazu, you’ll head to Iguazu National Park where the adventure begins.

 

Journey across lush nature trails, catwalks and observatories for incredible views of the cascades encompassing this world wonder.

 

For those who are more adventurous and in good physical condition, an optional zodiac ride into the falls is available.

 

I will Experience the grandeur of the Iguazu Falls

firsthand, a spectacular display of nearly 300 massive cascades thundering over 260-foottall granite hills.

 

Then I will Embark on an adventurous walk and eco-train ride through Iguazú National Park and enjoy an optional zodiac ride in to the falls if you wish.

 

Finally , I will Enjoy lunch amidst the plunging falls and lush jungle landscape, then dinner at Meliá Iguazú Resort.

 

Then I will fly back to the ship.

 

Long 18 hour day.



Middle Seat on the Plane



Bus Ride to the Park



Park Entrance and the Lower Falls



Video of the Lower Falls



Video of the rushing Lower Falls



Lower Falls Spledor



Power of the Devils Tongue



Lower Falls the Power and the Glory



This day truly kicked my butt, that said, "It was worth it".



Montevideo, Uruguay - 4 Jan 2024

 

Today I will dock at the Port of Montevideo which is located on the estuary of the Rio de la Plata. The river itself has its headwaters in Brazil and forms the border between Uruguay and Argentina.

 

I will be relatively close to the center of town, about 1 mi (1.6 km) to walk, or a five minute taxi ride.

 

I plan to enjoy the sights and tastes of Uruguay.

 

After a scenic drive through downtown Montevideo, I will arrive at Juanico, the wine capital of Uruguay.

 

Wines produced here include classic varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and more.

 

I will tour the magnificent vineyards and see how the winery uses state-of-the-art technology to blend its wines.

 

Afterwards, I will enjoy a delicious lunch of traditional Uruguayan foods, accompanied by an outstanding selection of award-winning Uruguayan wines.


Montevideo City Uruguay - 4 Jan 24 


Bus tour of the City of Montevideo, Uruguay



Photos of my bus tour of the City



Montevideo Beach


Montevideo, Uruguay - Juanito Winery 4 Jan 24



Today I tasted the best wines in Uruguay. Yum Yum



Video of Juanito Winery Celler. A true marvel.


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