I woke up today to news that a volcano near Puerto Montt I visited in my tour of South America, has erupted. I will share this part of my journey in subsequent publications, but I wanted to reach out to my friends in Chile to express my sincere sympathies and prayers for everyone affected.
Now, I must continue my reflections on my trip to South America! Norma D had several relaxing days touring around Cape Horn and in the channels, fjords and “Glacier Alleys” that thread the tip of this magnificent country. However, no good deed goes unpunished. I must share the saga of the Norovirus aboard ship! Fortunately, I did not suffer any problems, but hubs did.
First, I must commend Holland America for their diligence in handling the episode on board. They had been giving passengers instructions as to prevention and reporting as we came on board and thereafter. In addition, they had been serving the buffet(as opposed to letting passengers serve themselves) and constantly cleaning since the voyage started. However, it only takes one person who did not was their hands after using the toilet to start an epidemic.
Thanks to the Hurculean efforts by our crew, an epidemic did not occur, only a few cases. They washed everything with an antiviral cleaner. I sat at the slot machine in the casino, lost, and got up to go lose at another one. I looked back and they were cleaning the slot machine I just left! People who reported symptoms were put in isolation and taken care of in their suite. It was not like the nightmares depicted on the news. We were not able to tour Puerto Arenas, tho.
Fortunately, touring the Glaciers could be done by sitting outside on our balcony. We traveled many miles through the Strait of Magellan, Cockburn (I don’t even want to think about this one) Channel, Beagle Channel (shaped like Snoopy), Glacier Alley (no dumpsters), rounding Cape Horn, Canal Sarmiento, and the Chilean Fjords. Here are some of the beautiful pictures captured along the channels with my iPad tablet.
Not a soul in sight……Water like glass……Very Cold……..beautiful!
Along the way we made a stop at Ushuaia, Argentina where we visited the Tierra Del Fuego (Land of Fire) National Park and the end of the Pan American Highway. There we learned of the vicious killer Beavers of Ushuaia!
We climbed aboard our bus and was greeted by an Argentinian guide who sounded like Julia Child with a Spanish accent.
He proceeded to tell us all about Ushuaia, but seemed to dwell on the Vicious Canadian Beavers in the Tierra Del Fuego National Park. It seems that a few decades back the Ushuaians decided to start a Beaver Fur Industry in their fair town. They imported (these are the exact words) “10 Beaver couples”to start off. It was a disaster. The beavers had no natural predators to control their growth and the fur they produced was of poor quality due to the difference in temperatures from Canada to Ushuaia in the winter. Now they have about 180,000 (and climbing) beavers roaming the forest and destroying them. Every time we came upon a deserted beaver dam, we heard the snide way Mr. Child said the word “BEAVER”!
My husband and I were rolling around the back seat of the bus laughing!
We came across the most Southern golf course and hubs was sad he did not bring his clubs!
Then we arrived at the end of the road, literally. The end of the Pam American Highway which begins in Alaska. Beyond this point there are no roads going South. It is a desolate, beautiful place overlooking Lapataia Bay.
The last picture has another funny story. A man named Dorian asked us to take his picture and when I did, I said “Tit for Tat…will you take ours?” He leered at me and said “I like that Tit for Tat, I’d be pleased to take your picture.” Hubs and I were certain he had a picture of a very handsome man somewhere in his attic, the opposite of Dorian Gray.
Senor Child thanked us effusively for visiting Ushuaia. He bragged about an upcoming world skiing championship in the Winter. I asked how many people they expected and he told me about 200,000. I said,”Why don’t you give each visitor a vicious beaver to take home?” (at which the entire bus burst into laughter) Senor Child was rubbing his hands together and had a gleam in his eye!
BTW, along with Senor Child, Sam the Beaver Guide went with us. A gang of Chilean “Kill the Beavers” Brigade attacked me for giving a Beaver my sandwich. Sam saved me!