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About matamanoa

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    reading, painting
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  1. Some vehicles may be bigger than others, as we were crammed into a 4 X 4 with one other couple and for me, the ride was uncomfortable. My husband sat in the front seat on the way to Volunteer Point as he has a leg problem. The rest of us were squished into the back and I felt every bump and dip in the uneven terrain. I constantly kept bumping my head and my shoulder into the side of the vehicle and after two hours of this, I had a headache and was sure that my shoulder was bruised. I took the front seat on the way back because I didn't think I could do another two hours of bumping and smashing. Our driver was excellent in telling us stories and the history of the Falkland Islands. Lunch was fun in the open air - sandwiches, chips, candy bar and other non edible surprises. The penguins were the highlight of the tour and we enjoyed our time at Volunteer Point. Patrick Watts was very easy to communicate with as we planned and booked our tour and we enjoyed some time in Stanley at the end of the tour. Would I do the tour again - yes, definitely. Just be prepared for a lot of jostling around on the uneven ground to get there.
  2. Budget Queen - you seem to be an expert on cruising as I have gleaned from your answers to so many other posts, so I will stand corrected on my reference to a "bump in the road" Cape Horn viewing and I hope that you take great satisfaction in being "right" all of the time.
  3. The virus check was just a temperature check.
  4. We got home yesterday from a Princess cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago. We enjoyed the ship (Coral) and there were mainly adults on this cruise, hardly any children but there were a few young adults. We had no health problems while on the ship and the crew were very dilligent about cleaning public spaces. There were hand washing stations at the Horizon Court and you couldn't get in unless you washed your hands. Hand sanitizer was available at the entrances to the main dining rooms and other food outlets. We enjoyed our ports of call and were able to get into all of them. The only bump in the road was the route around Cape Horn. The weather was not suitable to get around and so we ending up turning back and took an inland waterway to get to Ushuaia. Other than that, all excursions went as planned. The day we did scenic cruising at the Amalia Glacier was quite wet and grey but we had good views from the ship. Our cruise ended in San Antonio port (Santiago). We had a transfer tour booked independently and went to Valparaiso, which was very interesting. Santiago was a bit disappointing as with the ongoing protests there, the city is an ugly mess. Every inch of it is defaced with graffiti, traffic is in gridlock due to the subways not running and the traffic lights not operational due to being taken out by the protestors, some hotels were not open and boarded up due to the violence and we were advised to stay in our hotel at night as there are demonstrations ongoing. We stayed downtown and that is where most of the action was. We did two city tours and they were not worth the money as the gridlock was so widespread that we spent a good deal of time sitting in traffic in the car. We did a tour to the Andes which is outside of the city and it was a wonderful day.
  5. We spent two days in Santiago at the end of our cruise last week (March 5th, 6th and 7th). We used Carola Neubauer for a transfer and tour from the ship in San Antonio to Santiago and we enjoyed the experience. It took us to Valparaiso and then Vina del Mar for lunch. Once we got to Santiago, the gridlock was horrendous and we spent quite a bit of time getting to our hotel (Plaza San Francisco). We used Carola again on our departure day (March 7th) and again spent more time sitting in gridlock than seeing any sights. This is all due to the ongoing demonstrations in the city. The subway system is down as several stations were set fire to and therefore there are more people using the city buses, so long lines waiting for them, and more cars as people who normally use the subway, can't. There are ongoing demos every day, usually in the late afternoon/evening hours and we were advised to stay in our hotel during the evening. We saw small fires set in the street, parades of people shouting and waving flags - all this from our hotel window. The one day that we took a tour outside of the city, we used ilovechilitours and did a trip to the Andes. We had an amazing time and the couple running the tour made us feel like family. They are well informed, lively, and very pleasant to spend a day with. I would highly recommend them. It is a shame that the city of Santiago is so defaced with graffiti, buildings are boarded up so that stores can't be damaged, some hotels have had to shut due to damage from the protestors.
  6. The subway system is not working at the moment because several stations were set fire to as part of the ongoing demonstrations. This makes the line ups for the buses very long and there is a lot of gridlock in the city due to the lack of subway lines available. Pack a lot of patience! (We were there two days ago - March 6th and 7th.)
  7. My husband and I took our first cruise, which was to Alaska, back in 1997. My parents had cruised for many years and had always enjoyed it and my father kept asking us when we were going to try a cruise. We were hooked as soon as we took that first cruise, which also coincided with our 25th wedding anniversary. We have been cruising ever since and think it is a wonderful way to travel and see the world. Our adult children have also taken a cruise or two although it has been a while since they have been on a ship.
  8. We will be touring with Carola Neubauer. You can reach her at Carola.neubauer@gmail.com
  9. Thank you for the detailed description of your day with the Patrick Watts tour to Volunteer Point. Barb
  10. I also think it is a matter of the weight of the luggage that we are now allowed on airlines. Those tuxes and evening gowns weigh a lot and to bring something for the formal nights that you will wear only once (perhaps twice) seems to be on cruiser's minds these days. I do agree that people should wear smart casual in any of the restaurants for dinner but the younger generation doesn't think of this as a priority these days. I also believe that the dress code rules for the dining rooms should be enforced. How hard is it to put on a nice pair of pants and a clean shirt or top.
  11. While in the Orkney Islands we did a wonderful day tour with Lorna Brown. The company is Orkney Tours and you can get in touch with Lorna at seeorkneyweb@gmail.com.
  12. I read in the South America forum that someone said to bring painter's or doctor's booties that you wear over your shoes and can then discard once you are away from the droppings area. I thought that sounded like a good tip and so have bought a few pairs at our local Home Depot and will be trying them out in a couple of weeks when I, too, visit Volunteer Point. Hope this helps.
  13. I agree with the above answer. We enjoyed Robyn's tour in Burnie and would highly recommend her. In Akaroa, we used ESTours - www.estours.co.nz. In Wellington we did a DIY day and it was easy to get around with lots to see. In Dunedin we used Shore Trips and Tours - www.shoretripsandtours.com.
  14. We used Robyn from Play A Round in Tassie and were very pleased with her tour.
  15. We stayed at The Henry Guest House, 6 Henry Street and found it to be a good location. Close to the train station and within walking distance of all of Bath's attractions. Just be aware that there is no elevator and we had to carry our luggage up the stairs.
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