Thursday Jan 27, 2011

HELP! After months of waiting, impatiently wishing time would move faster, we now wish it would slow down! We’re ticking off the last few days before our group meets at the airport, checking constantly to see what we’ve forgotten, and wondering frantically how we’re gonna get everything done!

Piles of clothes and shoes and medicines and cameras and Important Stuff-We-Might-Need are growing in our spare bedroom. And to-do lists keep getting revised.

But it happens every time we travel. And we’re used to it. And, once we’re settled in our seats on that big Lan Airlines jet, the hurry-up will cease – and the fun will begin!

Some “MIDLIFE MADNESS” – that’s what we’ve got planned. It’ll start in Buenos Aires in Argentina … then continue in the Falkland Islands, Chile and Peru. And much of the next three weeks will be spent aboard our floating hotel, Holland America’s big blue-and-white cruise-ship, the Veendam, – perfect for showcasing the bottom end of South America.


It’s hard to know where to start – because they’ll just keep happening, day after day, night after night. But here’s a taste of what’s in our itinerary …

  • joyful, glamorous Buenos Aires (Argentina): filled with the sensuous sounds of the tango
  • the thundering Iguazu Falls (Argentina): bigger & better than either Niagara Falls or Victoria Falls
  • friendly Montevideo (Uruguay) & Colonia del Sacramento (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • rugged Port Stanley (Falkland Islands) on the edge of the world – a photographer’s paradise
  • Cape Horn: Magellan’s fleet circled this massive, treacherous rock at the continent’s end
  • Ushuaia (Argentina): the most southern city in the world, in the frontier ‘land of fire and ice’
  • Cockburn & Beagle Channels: charted by Darwin in 1832, surrounded by breathtaking glaciers
  • Punta Arenas (Chile): near the Torres del Paine National Park – close-up wildlife, stunning scenery
  • Chilean Fjords: cascading waterfalls & snowy mountains, more spectacular than Norway or Alaska
  • charming Puerto Montt in Chile’s spectacular Lakes District: home of forests, volcanoes & salmon
  • enchanting Valparaiso (Chile): cliffs, stairways, multi-coloured corrugated-iron houses
  • Santiago: capital of Chile, resting on an inland plain with the Andes glimmering in the distance
  • Cuzco (Peru) with its colourful people, Spanish heritage & magnificent Sacsayhuaman Fortress
  • an unforgettable Vistadome train-ride through the misty, ever-changing Peruvian Andes
  • the archaeological ruins of Machu Picchu, Lost City of the Incas, riddled with myths & legends

Anyway, that’s enough for now. We’ll add some fresh entries once this adventure’s actually underway – and include some award-winning pix. So stay tuned …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN