The Monkeys are back...to Internet access! We had the best time on our nautical adventure. We sailed around Cape Horn and practically walked on a glacier, and now we're at the southernmost tip of South America in Ushuaia, Argentina. After Ushuaia, we'll be going to Buenos Aires and then Iguazu Falls.
Now join me as I recap a bit (I'm something like five or six days behind now), starting from the day before our Patagonian cruise....
Our flight to Punta Arenas went right over Torres del Paine, a major park of Patagonia. Mr. Monkey took these from his window seat.
Hotel Jose Nogueira in Punta Arenas. Our suite was fit for a king. Literally. I'd read in a brochure that His Majesty the King of Spain Juan Carlos de Borbon had stayed in this hotel, as well as Princess Anne of England, so I knew the hotel was pretty swanktastic.
Lo and behold, the hotel manager informed us that our suite was the actual room in which both the king and the princess had stayed. Huge. High ceilings. Hardwood floors. Chandelier. And we thought our hotel in Puerto Varas was nice!
chupe, which is like a hot crab dip you eat with a spoon. Seriously good. Chilean seafood is so fresh and delicious.
The original plan was foiled. By crazy gusty winds.
Drat. Drat. Drat. 120,000 penguins! Everywhere! So sad. [sniffle]
Mr. Monkey was prepared with a Plan B, though. Penguins or bust!
We got on a van to Seno Otway, which also has penguins, though not nearly as many as Isla Magdalena. The ride there and back were quite possibly the worst experiences I've ever had in a land vehicle in my life -- even worse than our long rides across dirt roads in Kenya and Tanzania.
The van started off fine. An English couple, a Chilean couple, and a Frenchman rode the van with us, and we were first transported to a nearby forest, where we took a hike. Good thing I was wearing SPF 70 on my face.
The silver lining was that Seno Otway was pretty damn awesome, even though it was far cry from what Isla Magdalena would've been. You probably wouldn't have known that, had I not said anything, but I'm all about full disclosure. Plus, if you do come to Patagonia some day, I don't want you to go to Seno Otway when you could go to Isla Magdalena.
And, with no further delay, I present to you Plan B!