Day 48 Easter Island Feb. 19, 2019

We arrived at Easter Island on a rainy February 19th morning. 

There is the first moai statue we can spot, but those breaking waves portend other problems.  The ocean swells are such that we cannot safely board the tenders, so the Captain cancelled all the shore excursions.  That is disappointing.  Since we could not go ashore, they brought a guide on board who narrated as we circumnavigated Easter Island.  Note the larger of the two offshore islands in this photo.  According to Rapa Nui oral tradition the way the tribes selected a new leader for the island each year was as follows: Each tribal chief would select an athlete.  At the appointed time the athletes would descend that cliff on the right, swim out to the farther island, collect a sacred egg from the special sea bird there, swim back, climb the cliff and present the egg to the council.  First man there gives his chief the right to rule the entire island for one year.  Repeat each year.  Nice system of term limits. 

 This is the Rano Raraku volcano that is the location of the quarry where all the statues on the island were carved. 

 

 

 

A group of 15 moai statues at Ahu Tongariki on a 650-foot-long stone platform.  This place is near the quarry. 

 

 

A group of the many wild horses on the island. 

 

 

A photo of the statues with some tourists included for size perspective. 

 

 

 

Beach area where the Dutch landed on Easter Sunday in 1722 and thus named it Easter Island. 

 

Most of the 8,000 residents live in the one town (first photo) but there were a few scattered farm houses. 

Not as up-close today as we would have preferred, but pleased we were able to see the statues from the ship.  Still took 239 photos on the day. 😊

 

Days 44, 45, 46 and 47 at Sea Traveling from Robinson Crusoe Island to Easter Island

These were 4 great days at sea traversing the deep blue Pacific between Robinson Crusoe Island and Easter Island.  We had wonderful weather with 360 degrees of awesome visibility and deep blue seas.  This is a small section of that view.

 

 

 

Tried this Chianti Classico and it has jumped to first place above the Overstone Pinot Noir that was previously on top.  Note the Black Rooster on the Chianti.

 

 

Enjoyed some fine evening entertainment.  Noodles was great as a stand-up comic.  Very funny without resorting to dirt.

 

 

Jon Armstrong was also extremely funny and amazing with close-up card tricks.  He also wanders around the ship during the day and will do card tricks if you ask.  Good fun.

 

 

 

Here comes the moon & good night to all.

 

 

Day 43 Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile Feb. 14, 2019

Day 42 was a day at sea.  We arrive at Robinson Crusoe Island on the morning of Feb. 14, 2019.  Day 43. Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

 

We will tender in to the party.

 

 

 

They have approximately 1,000 residents

 

 

 

and most live in this one bay area.

 

 

 

Lots of new construction.

 

 

 

And each one seems to own a large friendly dog.

 

 

 

 

Many nice homes. 

 

 

Some cliff dwellers – tough walk home after a day of fishing.

 

 

 

Limited shopping and that’s OK.

Very rocky island.

 

Town cemetery.     

 

 

 

 

 Monument to the 16 individuals that lost their lives in the February 27, 2010 tsunami. A nine-year-old girl saw the water receding from the bay and ran to warn the others.  The locals believe that without this warning, the death toll would have been much larger.   

 

Our ship in the bay. 

 

 

 

 

They have a full size soccer pitch with artificial turf for this town of 1,000. 

 

 

These long boats are everywhere as a sort of outdoor museum. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We head for the party with friendly pirates pointing the way. 

 

 

 

 

They have nice flowers enjoyed by travelers Linda & Dale. 

 

Fine food and drink at the party. 

 

 

 

 

And Robinson Crusoe stopped by to say hi.  The long gun was of unknown caliber, but close to a .22.  They use them to shoot rabbits and eat them.  The rabbits are not native, so they like to eat them and be rid of them.  I assured the lady next to me that thumper was not here. 

 More friendly pirates. 

 

 

 

 

We bought post cards and mailed them from here – The Post Office.  Appears they wisely maintain small government. 

 

 

Nice map so we all made it back to the ship. 

 

 

 

As we departed, there was a nice rainbow.  This was a fun, relaxing day at a place few people have a chance to visit. 

Well done Viking!

Day 41 Santiago February 12, 2019

Day 41  February 12th We dedicated 8 hours to a Santiago tour.   We head out on this slick looking Blackline bus

 

 

 

 

with Soledad as our tour guide.

 

 

Lots of cliff dwellers as we leave Valparaiso.

 

The drive to Santiago is through the valley and then the foothills of the Andes.  Feels like California.  Also, major vineyards in the valleys and starting up the hills.

 

 

 

Open cooper mine.

 

 

 

Santiago – Busy streets and public transportation.

 

 

 

The main square with the Presidential Palace

 

 

 

which is well guarded.

 

 

 

City government building at the corner of the square.

 

 

Only remaining statue of Allende.

 

 

 

Pedro Aguirre Cerda with his own pigeon.

 

 

 

 

Typical shops on the side streets. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pedro Valdiva, the first Royal Governor of Chile.

 

 

 

Main Cathedral of Santiago.

 

 

Join the club, use the bicycles as much as you like for only $15 per month.

 

We drove up San Cristobal Hill to enjoy the Santiago Metropolitan Park.  Great views from the top.

 

 

 

Very steep hill and a long way up

 

 

 

although the locals walk up.

 

 

 

We visited the Jardin Mapulemu.

 

 

 

The tallest building is very interesting.  It is finished but the builder is in a dispute with the city over infrastructure so only the first 4 floors are occupied.  Expensive politics.

 

 

I located a wiring  job for my friend Paul K.  They want to know when you can start?

 

 

We had lunch at Bella Vista!  Shrimp empanadas and Royal Guard beer.  Doesn’t get any better.

 

 

 

 

Nice sopping area.

 

 

 

Not quite sure about that art work.

 

 

 

Santiago appears very prosperous in terms of apartment buildings,

 

 

 

hotels & offices, and

 

 

 

private homes. 

 

 

 

 

 

Returned to the ship via the wine district. 

 

 

Port area sculptures for various tastes.

Day 40 Valparaiso, Chile February 11, 2019

Day 40,  We arrive in the port of Valparaiso on February 11, 2019 for a two day stay.  We will tour Valparaiso on the 11th.   

 

Valparaiso appears to be prosperous

 

 

 

and they certainly have a busy port.

 

 

We take on a lot of fuel here.

 

While we were watching the fueling operation, Sally the Wine Stewardess stopped to say hi.  A nice person to know. 😉

 

 

Note the steep tracks in the center of this photo.  They use these cable cars for pedestrians to change levels in this city of many steep hills.

So, on the 11th we take a tour of Valparaiso and this is our tour guide Elena. 

 

 

 

And here is Linda touring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They have numerous old Victorian homes.  Story is they can be purchased for about $1 million plus another million US to restore them.

 

 

 

 

 

National Maritime Museum.

 

 

 

View of the port from a viewing area near the museum.

 

 

 

Some fixer uppers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice flowers.

 

 

 

Lots of tremors in this area.  Looks like an earthquake support bar.

 

 

 

Monument to war heros in the main square with some travelers in the foreground.

 

 

Market in the main square – looking for grandkid presents.  No luck today but we have many more days.

 

 

Next, we went to Vina del Mar and saw their iconic floral clock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also visited the Fonck Museum with a moai statue from Easter Island outside and

 

 

a mummy inside.

 

 

 

 

They have a nice casino and park.

 

 

 

 

Luxury apartments in Vina del Mar.

Day 39 Day at Sea with Patient Transfer

On February 10th, we were traveling from Puerto Montt to Valparaiso when a lady fell and hit her head.  We were experiencing a calm sea state so the fall must have had a different cause.  Due to fears of complications from a closed head injury the Captain called the Chilean Coast Guard and asked them to take her quickly to a hospital since we were only 6 miles off shore.  (They had asked for a helicopter but none were available.)  Here comes the Coast Guard Cutter TALCAHUANO. 

We will use one of our tenders for the transfer.

 

 

 

 

Patient transferred to the tender.

 

 

Note the tender is commanded by the Staff Captain.  He is #2 on the Viking Sun and is a full captain with an Unlimited Rating.  Taking no chances.

 

 

 

Patient transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter.

 

And they head to port.  Interesting day at sea.  We received a report back that the patient is doing fine and will be flying home soon.  She was due to disembark in 2 days, so did not loose much in terms of cruising.

Day 38 Puerto Montt, Chile Feb. 9, 2019

Day 37 was a day at sea.

On day 38, February 9, 2019 we backed down a narrow channel and docked at Puerto Montt. 

 

Across from us is a beach, a dock, and some very colorful boats.

 

 

 

 

 

Long tour today, so we launch off immediately after being docked.  On the agenda we have water falls, a volcano, and Puerto Varas (a lakeside town).  Immediately one notices that this area appears the most prosperous of the cities we have visited so far in Chile.  We see nice homes, apartments, 

 

schools, housing developments

 

and shops.

 

 

Agriculture seems to be thriving.  Lots of cows

 

 

 

 

with llamas and alpacas also popular.

 

This is one of many Lutheran Churches we observed on our bus tour today.  Much of the agriculture is driven by German Lutherans who came over in the mid-1800’s.  Chile needed people to populate this area so they offered free land and got lots of takers.  They still speak German in the Lutheran services and 90% of the churches around Lake Llanquihue (huge lake) are Lutheran.  That fact seemed to annoy our tour guide. 

We went to a National Park – Vincente Perez Rosales – and walked to the Petrohue Falls.  They are impressive water falls formed by water gushing through the lava rocks. 

This place is enjoyed by many travelers including Dale and Linda.

 

 

 

Next we go up this series of impressive switch backs to the base of the Osorno Volcano.

 

 

Here are Linda and Dale walking on Osorno Volcano with friends Charlotte and Tony Beech.

 

 

View looking up at the volcano.  Linda resting on the volcano.    

View of Lake Llanquihue from the  Osorno volcano.

 

 

 

A fox we saw on the way down the volcano.

 

 

 

Next we go to Puerto Varas for lunch and some time to walk around this lakeside resort town.

 

 

It is the weekend and they are having a metal sculpture exhibit.

 

 

 

Tony decides to milk the cow.

 

 

Hey look, a pig. 

And a knight.

 

 

Nice lake front

and lakeside town.

 

 

 

We return to the boat for a photo shoot. 

 

The Captain requested a photo so I indulged him.

Day 36 Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

We arrived early on Feb 7th at Puerto Chacabuco, Chile. 

 

 

 

We are in this amazing bay with mountains all around and almost no visible way out.  We are taking the Rio Simpson tour today.  This is a world premier fly-fishing area, and very scenic, so we will enjoy a bus ride through the country side and then a stop to walk around at Rio Simpson. 

This is our tour guide Marina.  Interesting young person.  She was born in Madrid to French and Spanish parents and is currently bicycling through Chile and Argentina.   Stopping on occasion to make some money as a tour guide.  Very informative and interesting to talk to, but I bet she is driving her parents nuts.  She says maybe, but they love her as she is.  

 

As we make our way through the country-side we see more agriculture as we are heading north from the end of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The terrain is awesome.

 

Rio Simpson.

Trout Stream with travelers Linda and Dale.

 

 

 

Awesome place.

 

National flower. 

Great rhubarb.

 

 

 

Nice waterfalls on the way back.

 

 

 

The Ghost Lagoon so named because rising water level killed the trees.

The regional Capital is Puerto Aysen.  Here we see residential areas,

 

 

shops,

 

 

a church,

 

 

 

 

and Dale & Linda with the biggest bridge in the area.

 

 

 

Government housing – tiny houses with each one identical.

 

 

River view from the bridge. 

 

Tender back to the boat.  The Viking Sun.

Another great day.  We really enjoyed this outing.

Days 34 & 35 at Sea from Punta Arenas to Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

We have two days at sea to go from Punta Arenas to Puerto Chacabuco, Chile.  During the day the Captain weaves through the  fjords providing amazing sights and stunning vistas.   At night he tends to go our to sea (Pacific Ocean).  As we wind our way through the fjords you can see how close we come to the sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the great show was taking us to the Amalia Glacier.  We journeyed down a side fjord and it was foggy and raining.  Concerned we would not get a good view or a picture at all.  Then, shortly after the Captain turned the Viking Sun around, it cleared and we were able to capture the view and this shot of the Amalia Glacier.  Super.  Traversing the fjords is awesome!

 

Day 33 Punta Arenas & Isle Magdalena – The Day of the Penguins

February 4:  Big day – Hoping to see some penguins.

We are Punta Arenas and have booked an excursion on a catamaran to Isla Magdalena.  The island is 22 miles north of the port and is home to 20,000 + penguins.  Should be able to see one or two.

 

 

On the way we see some Sei Whales relatively close to our catamaran.

 

 

 

Getting close to Magdalena Island.  The light house flies the flags of Chile and Patagonia.

 

We will be seeing penguins.  We are here and the penguins are everywhere.  They were all outside their burrows as it was too warm for their liking at 74 degrees.

 

 

We are enjoying the day.

 

 

 

 

 

Locator map.

 

 

 

 

Close-up of the light house and flags.

 

Walking down the path in front of us.  The penguins have the right of way and you must stay at least 2 meters away.

 

 

 

Marching down to the fishing hole.

 

 

It was fun to watch them go fishing.

 

 

 

Back to our catamaran transportation for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

At 5:15 we depart.  Interestingly, their beach is full during a weekday evening.  At 74 degrees it may be the warmest day of the year so many are taking advantage.

We really wanted to see penguins and we sure did.  Another great stop.

Calm and contented sailing on.