Monday, February 1, 2010

Puerto Montt

Hi Everyone - we were late leaving Vina as the ship got in late. They had very high winds hence a really choppy sea and so we got a late start. We were at the Hotel though and got word just in time so we weren't sitting at the port terminal endlessly. Had a nice lunch on the terrace at the Miramar while we put in the time, and all was good.
We left Valparaiso around 8:30 pm on the 30th and sailed until this morning and are now in Puerto Montt in the Lake District here in Chile. We left the ship around 10:30 this morning by "tender" which are little boats used exclusively for transporting people from ship to shore. Our excursion today took us up through The City of Roses, to a ranch where they raise horses for the rodeos here which apparently is the 2nd favourite sport right after soccer. The horses were similar to our Quarter Horses and small but sturdy animals. On arrival wine and empanadas were served in the barn while we were introduced to the gauchos (cowboys) and watched some of the younger people dancing. The farm dogs (strangely a little poodle and a St. Bernard) were wandering around - I was expecting cattle dogs or something ....... The gauchos were very skilled and showed us many riding techniques including cutting a bull out and controlling him with two horses and riders (to music of course, which is the way all bulls should be controlled ......). We were served a wonderful lunch of roast beef and salads and more wines and finally a couple of luquers (sp?) A good day. We also had a shopping opportunity (never shrug off a shopping opportunity) on the way up to the ranch and Eric - if you're reading this - you got your first hat !!! (Eric is one of the kids who walks Oliver).
Am doing more walking here on the ship in a day than I do in a week at home. Our cabin is quite a distance (for me) from the dining rooms and so there is incentive to walk to and from. Room service is available anytime and we stayed "in" last night and just had salads for dinner. We've booked serious spa treatments for tomorrow and the next day while we're at sea and will go to the fine dining spot on the ship for dinner tomorrow night if we can get in.
Well folks. Am sitting here at this computer looking out at lots of islands and fijords and it's quite beautiful. I can't say enough how lovely the Chilean people are. The owner of the ranch today was clearlly veru proud of his cowboys and his dancers and even down to the kids working in the kitchen. It's nice to see.

signing off for now and love to everyone

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