Friday, March 5, 2010

On Our Way to Santiago With Fingers Crossed

We're sitting in an Internet cafe in Puerto Montt Chile, our final port before disembarking at Valparaiso Sunday morning. And here we thought this cruise on Insignia would be calm and quiet after a week on Disney, with its unpleasant disembarkation followed on by our hasty between-cruise trip from Port Orlando to Seattle to Birch Bay to Buenos Aires.

We've been cruising along in our own comfortable cocoon on Insignia but well aware of the terrible tragedy that unfolded in Chile after we boarded. Other than donations, there's little we can do and our selfish interest was in seeing whether we could actually fly from Santiago back to Buenos Aires. We'd considered the possibility of being somewhat stranded in Santiago and that wasn't pleasing at all.

Thanks to the information we've gotten along the way from relatives and a travel agent, we now think that we'll be able to fly from Santiago to Buenos Aires on Air Canada Sunday evening instead of Sunday afternoon. We'd arrive in Buenos Aires around 10:00 p.m. and still have time to get a good night's sleep in our hotel. We already had a late checkout arranged before catching our United flight to Washington-Dulles Monday night. This is all subject to change.

We canceled our original transfer (and were happy to see a reply from the owner wishing us well and telling us he's fine) and signed up for the Oceania transfer. Since the airport terminal facilities consist of a couple of tents, they plan to bus us to a downtown hotel, and apparently we'll have the use of the lobby or whatever before taking a second round of transportation to the airport. That appears to be planned very well and it confirms that it was a good time to utilize Oceania for the transfer.

As far as the cruise itself, it's been pleasant and relaxing. Brian spent a lot of time for much of the cruise coughing and dealing with some kind of bronchitis, but he's finally feeling better and, best of all, doesn't seem to have passed the bug along to June, Greg, or Kathy.

We got a good view of the Amelia Glacier and have sailed through some magnificent scenery. The Chilean fjords are reminiscent both of the Norwegian fjords and British Columbia and Alaska. Further south the hills were somewhat bleak and as we've sailed north they became greener. At times the view was similar to the BC Ferries Tsawassen-Swartz Bay trip, and it was beautiful and magnificent throughout.

It's an odd little coincidence to be reminded on these back-to-back cruises that nature can quickly frustrate the best-laid plans. Considering the news we've been watching about one cruise ship being stuck in ice and another being hit by a rogue wave, we still consider ourselves very fortunate. Still, there will be a certain relief in being back in our own little house in Birch Bay for a few days.

No comments: