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16 Feb ’14....Pittsburgh Int’l  PIT — Dallas-Ft Worth  DFW —

17 Feb          A M Benitez Int'l, Santiago, Chile  SCL  — El Tepual Int'l, Puerto Montt, Chile  PMC

17 Feb........Board M/S Golden Princess, Puerto Montt, Chile

18 Feb........At sea

19 Feb........Cruising: Amalia Glacier

20 Feb........Strait of Magellan...Punta Arenas, Chile

21 Feb........Ushuaia...Beagle Channel, Argentina

22 Feb........Cruising: Cape Horn

23 Feb........Stanley, Falkland Islands

24 Feb........At sea

25 Feb........Puerto Madryn...Valdes Peninsula, Argentina

26 Feb........At sea

27 Feb........Montevideo, Uruguay

28 Feb........Buenos Aires, Argentina

  1–2 Mar....Ministro Pistarini Int'l, Buenos Aires  EZE — Miami Int'l  MIA — Charlotte Douglas Int'l CLT

                    — Pittsburgh Int'l  PIT

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WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Argentina:  Valdes Peninsula

  This sounded like a nice two-week getaway—until Mother Nature and an ice storm on the east coast materialized!

  I planned this trip with my friend Judy, and we were worried about her getting out of Chicago in mid-February; she managed to get all the way to the waiting ship in Valparaiso, Chile, with no problem on 14-15 February. I, on the other hand, couldn't get out of Pittsburgh until 16 February and had to catch up with the ship at its first port of call on 17 February —a weekend of phone calls to airlines and Princess Cruises while waiting for the ice to melt. The winter of '13-'14 was brutal; but we finally got together and enjoyed the rest of the cruise.

  The Golden Princess is one of their smaller ships and it was well-run and comfortable, with a moderately spacious cabin and lots of good food to keep us snug and happy. The ports of call were interesting and the ship excursions were OK, if overpriced. With only two major cities on the itinerary, the wild landscapes, glaciers, and the ever-present sea and sky were the visual attractions as we sailed around the bottom tip of South America. Penguins were the star feature at Punta Arenas and the Falklands, and they also showed up on the Valdes Peninsula along with sea lions and other wildlife at this World Heritage site. We were excited to see the King Penguins, the second-largest type, at their nesting site on East Falkland after an hour-long, off-the-road ordeal over the rugged land. Montevideo, Uruguay, struck me as a rather dull place—we probably should have simply walked into the old section of town instead of taking the 'panoramic' bus tour. Since Judy and I had spent several days in Buenos Aires a few years ago before and after an expedition to Antarctica, we chose to taxi to the San Telmo district and just browse for a couple of hours. We finished the trip visiting with some of my scale modeling buddies in BA, and were treated to an outstanding lunch of local delicacies and a wonderful few hours with old and new friends.

  I arrived back in Pittsburgh to another snowstorm and the rest of the winter at home was no better—but with good memories of another successful trip to new places and old friends.

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