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Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

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I made to La Paz yesterday on Amazonas (almost an hour late - left Cusco 5 min. before we were supposed to land at La Paz - but my pick-up driver was still waiting). The plane was a small Bombardier with a 2x2 seating configuration. There was one empty seat - next to me. :classic_biggrin: I estimate 95% of the pax were Japanese. 

 

I think I'll explore La Paz today by the 'aerial subway' (cable car system - I think there are  five 'Lines'). Tomorrow, I'm off to Copacabana, Lake Titicaca and (Isla del Sol), the day after - Tiwanaku archaeological site.

 

I will look into those 'wine checks' when in Cape Town. I have a 'Wine Beer and Biltong Safari (Stellenbosch Experience)' tour booked.

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1 hour ago, UKCruiseJeff said:

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I want that sandwich, PLEASE:classic_biggrin:

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Hope all of you are having a good day.

 

I did some spring clothes cleaning today so Goodwill is getting a giant bagful of tops.    Then I went on line and was looking at hotel prices and was looking at my Beekman room again and guess what? The price went down by 175.00!!!!!!!  I went to change it on line and omg.....I put the wrong date:classic_sad: in so I called them right away and they fixed it for me:classic_biggrin:.  The guy was really nice and said if I see any reductions before my arrival, just call them instead of doing on the net and they can update it.

So I will look again later this month!   But that is a giant savings!  If I had known it was going to come down I would have waited to book it to start but it is all good. 

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Great news Lois. Hotel prices in NY can be fairly "dynamic" to say the least. Good to keep an eye on it.

 

And I agree with your sentiments about that sandwich. Wow. When we were in NY 2 weeks ago I grabbed a mini version of that from a French bakery at Grand Central. It was ham and cheese on a mini baguette, and it was so good.

 

All the tourists come to Grand Central to see the great hall and the stuff at ground level, which is very nice. But if you want something even better, head downstairs where there is a massive food court. And there is a gourmet grocery, wine shop, etc. Love it there. 

 

Now that the Ukraine trip is settled (again) it's time to start thinking about our Portugal trip. Still thinking it will be mostly (if not all) independent. Fly to Lisbon, drive to Porto, then spend a few days touring around the surrounding area before driving to Salamanca and ending in Madrid. None of the distances look too far. I just won't have a new Audi to drive so we will have to take it slower, in a little rental car. Oh well.

Edited by jpalbny

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Jeff, as above, not a new car trip this time. Need to plan one of those soon, I think. The Alsatian wine route is calling my name.

 

Fletcher, those South American airports can be an adventure. Definitely chaotic. But worth the hassle, as the sights are so beautiful. We were just at Atacama, Chilean Patagonia, and Iguazu. All the internal flights wear you down eventually, but there aren't any other good options.

 

The airport at El Loa (an hour from Atacama) is really nice, very new, not crowded, and overall a very pleasant place to fly into and out of. If you have a chance to fly to it, be happy. Some of the others, though...yikes.

 

On our flight back from Puerto Natales, LATAM assigned me a seat that was nonfunctional (no oxygen mask) and which should have been closed. Of course, that wasn't evident until we had already walked from the airport, across the tarmac, and boarded via stairs. Didn't notice until the FAs told me that I couldn't sit there.. But, I said, that's my assigned seat, sorry, I didn't think it would be an error. The reponse? The FAs told me to leave the airplant, go back to the terminal, and get a new seat!  Seriously?

 

I asked them if they could call the desk agent and work it out, and eventually they did, but it was a little tense there for a while. I didn't trust them to let me back on the plane, given the cluster that was going on at that airport. They probably would have taken off with Chris and left me behind!

 

It would have been interesting, had the plane been full, since Chris's seat was fine - it was just mine. Luckily there were other seats available and we were able to move, and stay on our original flight.

 

Aerolineas Argentinas was comparatively nicer, especially because we have elite status with DL and they are also SkyTeam. At least they serve snacks on their flights. LATAM serves a cup of water on a 4h flight, and you have to buy anything else that you want.

 

TGH, some day we will make it to Bolivia. No particular reason we're avoiding it, just haven't crossed that border yet. 

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I have a funny South American airport story!!!!  When we were flying from Iquitos to Lima (so we could fly on to Cusco) in 2016, we had to go thru airport security with our bags - "Amazonian TSA" consisted of a very old man, one arm, and an eye patch patting the luggage and occasionally opening them.  I gave him a big smile, he winked his one eye, and handed me my bag.  My husband all but got strip searched!!!!!

 

So, we get thru the the line, and head to the gate, and there is a huge glass box of all the items people tried to get thru security to board the plane with.  We had to take a picture, unfortunately it didn't detail that well.  In this 6 foot x 6 foot x 6 foot cube were things like hammers, knives, machettes, a very large axe, etc .... it makes our airport look so tame!  Oh, and this box was about 3/4 full.   I'm thinking the villagers out in the Amazon could really use a lot of that hardware :classic_smile:

 

Nothing as exciting in Cusco other than the big "help yourself" basket of coca leaves.....

 

Vacation in less than 3 weeks - yay!

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I just got back to La Paz from my Lake Titicaca/Isla del Sol day trip (it was long one but worthwhile). At the coffee, tea & cookies table in the dining area my apart/hotel, there's a big basket coca leaves... just like Cusco. :classic_smile:

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Any ill effects from the altitude? La Paz is up there! How was the Lake?

 

Safe travels to Santiago and from there, on to the Cloud at the crack of pre-dawn. 

 

BTW, if one of the folks handling your transfer to the airport is named Jeanette, please tell her that JP and Chris said hi. She is our wine tour guide extraordinaire! But she also works for the company that handles SS transfers in Santiago.

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4 hours ago, jpalbny said:

BTW, if one of the folks handling your transfer to the airport is named Jeanette, please tell her that JP and Chris said hi.  But, she also works for the company that handles SS transfers in Santiago.

JP,

 

Any chance you could work with Jeanette to arrange a private hotel transfer for the 7 of us in Santiago so that we don't have to depart at such an ungodly hour?  I'm sure PetLover would join us. 🙂 

I'm thinking, let the other 180 or so passengers wait in the LATAM check-in line for an hour or so and then we'll show up much later to no line and a stress free check-in process.  This will be very important since you'll have at least two suitcases to check that carry your tuxedo or dark suit, as well as your new cowboy hat!

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It is indeed JP.  It had been kept in my extra cold fridge and it was sublime.  I know they may have just been crepe to others but those crepes brought a smile.  

 

I know what you are thinking.  “Where are today’s baguettes?”  Fret not.  🙂

 

 

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Tabali is a pretty place. We were there in November 2017. Tasty wines too!

 

I thought I recognized their logo. It is based on petroglyphs found nearby in the Enchanted Valley. 

 

Here are a few pics of the winery and grounds:

 

Barrels set out to age

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Nice tasting room in the cellars for VIPs, with the logo.

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Where Silversea plebes get to taste...

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More views outside. 

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Grounds; the round archway on the left leads underground to the cellars.

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And the real thing.

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Edited by jpalbny

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Thanks JP.  I hope you noticed that in order to maintain the  petroglyphic theme, I continued that rich archaeological vein over to my stunning crepes which were based on a Dahliesque motif.  The caramel added both taste and added colour.  🙂

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Good morning, I was watching the news about the NCL ship......anyone else see it? OMG......the ship listed at 45 degrees......they got hit with what would be considered 115mph hurricane force winds. (it is NOT hurricane season yet).

That had to be such a scary thing to go through:classic_ohmy:

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On 3/5/2019 at 7:53 AM, jpalbny said:

Any ill effects from the altitude? La Paz is up there! How was the Lake?

 

Safe travels to Santiago and from there, on to the Cloud at the crack of pre-dawn. 

 

No ill effects from the altitude in Cusco/Sacred Valley area (I went everywhere) or Bolivia.

 

Lake Titicaca was ... wet... and a loooooog day from La Paz (06:20 - 23:00 RT from my hotel). The weather was beautiful and I'm glad I went, but Isla del Sol was kind of disappointing - spend 1.5 hrs. each way from/to Copacabana on a 'slow boat' just to do a 1 hr. hike.

 

This morning I flew: La Paz - Lima - Santiago on LATAM. After I checked-in at LPB, I noticed LATAM had changed my flight on the second leg (LIM to SCL). They gave me NO notice whatsoever. I had booked the Whyndam Costa del sol at LIM... because I thought I had a 6.5 hr. layover - that was a waste of CAD $179.00... and, I could not use my pre-arranged SS transfer from SCL to the Sheraton... I had to pay for a taxi. 

 

Did I tell you how much I HATE airlines... especially LATAM??? 

 

I'm currently sitting in my 'Club Room' at the Sheraton Santiago (San Cristobal Tower). My transfer to the airport (SCL for USH and the Cloud) leaves at 03:45 (in about 5 hrs)... I don't think I'll sleep tonight.

 

I wonder how the retarded chimps at LATAM will f**k up the charter flight to Ushuaia?

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Good luck! My n-of-1 experience is that the charters to Ushuaia work well. Hope your experience is good too.

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Good morning friends,  today I am taking my car in for my free "oil/lube/filter" change:classic_smile:.  It was part of the package when I bought my car. Doing that later this morning......then going to the Outlet Mall in St Augustine for a bit of shopping:classic_biggrin: and will probably go out for lunch too.

 

Hope everyone remembers to "Spring Forward" tonight.  And of course,

 

 

Image result for Happy Weekend

 

 

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Hi All......great to read about all the adventures......

Lois....our clocks here in the UK don’t go forward until the end of this month...hope you enjoyed the St Augustine shopping, it’s a lovely place..we used to visit the O’Steins restaurant there.

JP....have been following along with your NY recommendations and passed a few on to my kids who are going over in two weeks...they are staying at the Lotte NY Palace....

Loving the bread making posts Jeffers....am off the stuff right now as I’m trying to shed some pounds!

Have joined a local spa to assist with the toning up and quite enjoying it.....up to now!

 

Happh Day 😊

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Hi Sophia:classic_smile: O'Steen's has been there for a long time!  And I did really well on my shopping trip too:classic_biggrin: got a new crossbody bag by Dooney & Bourke that will work well on cruises for the evenings.  And I got quite a bit of clothing....4 pair of pants and several tops:classic_smile: and a new pair of sandals as well. 

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