From There And Back - West Wind Hardwood

A Journey by John and Phyllis Wrobel

On December 3, we embarked on our journey to South America aboard the Golden Princess leaving from Los Angeles (temp 64F).

Cabo San Lucas, Puntarenas and Peru all shared desert dunes, high humidity and throngs of people selling everything on the streets.  Alpaca clothing was popular in South America.  Four stops in Chile gave us time to enjoy the lush regions, historic sites, local markets and the Casablanca Valley wine region.

The rough seas and cold weather (temp 48F) started with waves between 7.5 to 12 feet; but no seasickness.  We travelled through the Beagle Canal towards Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world on Christmas Day, and headed for Cape Horn and our scenic cruise of waterfalls, glaciers and rolling hills.  We enjoyed wind, rain, sun and snow.

At Sparrow Cove – Falkland Islands – we saw a colony of Gentoo penguins.  The terrain is very rocky and covered with grass.  “Do Not Travel” signs were everywhere due to the mine field areas.  We got an islanders’ view of the bitter island conflict.  Weather was rainy and cold.

As we headed north to Buenos Aries, Argentina, the weather warmed (temp 84F) and we enjoyed an excellent show of tango dancers.  We travelled the narrow channels of the Rio de la Plata to Montevideo, Uruguay.  Toured the city and a family winery with lots more food, wine and another tango show.  A good way to enjoy New Year’s Eve was Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the end of our 31-day cruise.

Our journey continued with a one night stay in this large city before dashing off to Manaus, Brazil for our Iberostar Amazon Cruise.  The cruise aboard this hotel-ship with 72-cabins, pool/sauna, bar/dining room and open air deck was 4-star plus.  Each day we had three excursions about a 30-person boat.  We visited the rainforest and saw pink dolphins, alligators, iguana, macaws, a local community with high-tech school, the meeting of the waters.  We enjoyed swimming and piranha fishing (not at the same time); of which I caught six.

It was a journey beyond all our expectations; ending with a flight to Miami where we spent several days; retuning home on January 12, 2015.

Journey’s End – Home – Back to the Real World!!

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