February 6th: Chacabuca and the Amalia Glacier
It’s fair to say that there aren’t a lot of tourist attractions in Chacabuco itself. It’s a remote fishing and copper mining town set in a beautiful fiord. Us New Zealanders promptly suffered an attack of ‘Home thoughts from abroad’, and bored our Aussie companions with reminiscences of our own Fiordland.
This place was beautiful and wild, and we took a tour out, respectively, to a reserve; a waterfall, where someone once saw the Virgin Mary, (they’ve erected a shrine); and a tour of the local town.
I’ve forgotten to mention that there are dogs everywhere in Chile. These are friendly animals, well-socialised, and hang out in the local squares and public places. I like seeing them around,– particularly as they all look well fed.
Last night the ship officially celebrated Waitangi Day. (Yes, I know it was February 7th, but the 6th was a day in Port, and everyone was too busy being a tourist to be much interested in celebrating anything else. And yes, I do know that back home you all celebrated the 6th February, like, DAYS ago!). It was a formal night, so we all dressed up posh. Actually, all things considered, we all brushed up quite well. After days of comfort in my Skechers it was a bit of a wake up call to try dancing in high heels. Lots, of fun, and a brave attempt at recalling the NZ national anthem in Maori. Anything to outshine the Aussies.
We had an early start the next morning to see the glaciers. The temperature had dropped to a not so balmy 4 degrees Celsius. Some passengers were so well wrapped up, they might as well have been wearing burkas. A couple defiantly wore shorts and T-shirts. Cavan and I completed our daily promenade and enjoyed the fresh air on our faces. Mind you, we were moderately well dressed, and our faces were the only areas the clean air was allowed access to.
As I write, we have just quit the fiord and are now on the open ocean. I know this because my laptop is suddenly hard to locate. Actually, the laptop stayed still, I was the one that slid across the floor. Tomorrow we reach Punta Arenas. The weather outside has changed from pleasantly cold to downright unpleasant. It’s raining, the sea has white-caps and there’s a fair gale blowing. The stabilisers have the odd effect of minimising the pitch of the vessel, while retaining a moderate degree of roll. It recreates the sensation of a not unpleasant hangover.