Thursday, February 14, 2019

South America 2019: Trip Notes # 9

South America 2019: Trip Notes # 9 

Putting aside some passenger's coughs, sneezing, rasping and wheezing, there were some other medical issues occurring on the ship.

Arlene missed a step toward the bottom of the ship's central staircase. She landed awkwardly on the floor - twisted an ankle and injured her foot. It is quite swollen and painful.  

 Lynn (Arlene's friend), tripped over a dining room chair leg. She went head first into a metal frame. A glass plate shattered on her hands as she was trying to break her fall. The result? Hairline fracture of a wrist, stitches in her other hand and parts of her head were glued together. The blood on the dining room floor did not go over very well during lunch time.

A Los Angeles area doctor collapsed in the shower. Two other passengers we met ended up with pneumonia - one was quarantined, the other offloaded to a hospital.  Jerry missed a step on some stairs and almost had a bad fall. We heard that other passengers had various mishaps. Lynn's arm is in a sling. Arlene is in pain and is limping quite a bit. 

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We came across a fleet of Taiwanese fishing trawlers. Fishing for squid. 

This Appears To Be a Private Ship That Can Navigate Through Ice Flows, Check Out The Reinforced Metal Bow.

We had no idea that the  Falkland Islands even existed until "the war" broke out. Sadly (and unnecessarily) many military personnel on both sides (as well as some civilians) were killed.

Guides provided two interpretations as to why there was such a war: The Argentina economy was poor - the Argentina government needed to find a way to divert the Argentine's attention away from the bad economy to an "external" issue - the Falklands. The other "excuse" dealt with controlling the oil industry. Regardless of the reason, it was a "silly war." 

                Battlefields Remain Off Limits. Land Mines Are Still Being Cleared

Port Stanley:

Port Stanley clearly presents very simple life. People move to Port Stanley to get away from the large, urban way of life.   
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In order to reach the penguins, we had to tender over rough water to reach the dock. Then, a small group of us transferred to a van followed by breaking up into even smaller groups where we had to use 4 X 4's over very, very rough terrain. 

Fields of broken rocks are found throughout the islands.
 These rocks are a result of glaciations. As the rivers of solid ice flow down a mountainside, the mountain rock or material is ground up by the weight and gravitational force. When the glacier melts, the rock material remains.

There was a short downpour before we reached the penguins

Once out of the vehicles, we had to watch where we walked.  
Penguin Droppings

Penguin life in the Falklands is quite different from the Punta Tomba area. 

Falkland penguins live close to the water and they lay their eggs on the open fields. 

The penguins represented several different types. The more colorful ones were "Emperors."   

Baby Chick

"She Doesn't Want To Be My  Mate.. Do You Want To Be My Mate?"

                                        "Hey, Everyone! Found A Mate!"

While visiting the area, we were treated with a wonderful surprise. The local women get together and greet visitors with delicious homemade food and tea. 

Ovens And Stoves Use Peat For Fuel

 Everywhere we went - "Global Warming" was emphasized as a serious, global issue

Cows Have No Real Function Other Than A Tourist Attraction
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Ushuaia - Argentina -  is an interesting town. 

It seemed like "everyone" was trying to capitalize on its geographical location: Furthest South American ...Motel, Furthest South American.... point of the Pan American Highway. Furthest.... part of continental land in South America. We're sure that you get the point. This is like what we would find in the Florida Keys - next land is Cuba.

Ushuaia has an interesting history. Much like Australia, Argentina prisoners were sent to one of the most desolate areas to cut down the trees. 
Many glaciers in the area.

It's possible to tell how heavy (and high) the snowfall was by the height of the tree stump. The higher the stump, the more snow there was on the ground.

Wood was needed for building and for heating. It was a brutal life. Accommodations and treatment was the worst imaginable. 
Prisoners punishment was to be sent to this area....which was very harsh. 

Stalking A Prisoner!

Even though there are four seasons, "summer temperatures" are cool at best. 50-100 MPH winds are common. The day that we visited this area was absolutely gorgeous. However, several layers of warmth (including gloves) were required. It was probably in the 40's!

Cute Train station:

Small, narrow gauge railroads were used to transport food and supplies into this area - this area  has remained desolate since the beginning of time.

Steam engine.



On land, there is very little plant or animal life due to the extreme weather conditions. The government has enticed people to come to this area by offering higher wages and tax-free incentives. As a result, this small town is the fastest growing town in Argentina. Other than tourism (and possibly some fishing), there is very little else that can be offered.

At one point, it was thought that introducing beavers (for their pelts) could possibly boost the economy. 25 "couples" were brought into the river valleys. 

After a count of 100,000 beavers and with the river valleys being dammed up and the forests being destroyed, the park rangers had to come into the area, try to kill off the beavers and destroy the dams. 

Broken Tree Branches And Trunks Due To Beavers

There are several species of cormorant birds. However, there is one variety that looks exactly like a penguin. The only (main) difference is - cormorant birds fly, penguins do not. 

Seals And Sea Lions 

Glaciation Opened This Area To The Sea

Large Glacier Behind The Town

Below Us Is Antarctica - Not This Trip

Back To The Ship And Some Great Food!

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