Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011 – Embarkation Day – Santiago to Valparaiso – Sunny – mid 70s

Up at 8:00 AM – Beautiful day in Santiago (no cloudy beginning today).  Ellen got all of our stuff repacked and we checked out with the condo desk on Floor 15.  Good price and no taxes – if we get down here again, this will be our first choice.

I just didn’t feel comfortable hauling our bags on the subway so we decided to take a cab to the bus station.  The fare:  $5,000 CL$ (480 CP per dollar) or about $10.  The ride was much longer than I thought it was going to be so I think we made the right choice.  The bus ride to Valparaiso on the Pullman Bus Line was 7600 CL$ (for both of us) (about $7.60 a person compared to $130 for a cab or limo).  The bus was new, comfortable seats, plenty of legroom, quiet, and air-conditioned.  What a deal – and clean windows to shoot scenery as we went.

After passing through a mountain range, we went through the agricultural central valley with vineyards and other crops.  It was also a chance to take a cat nap. 

 On the road to Valpo1 (Small) On the road to Valpo (Small) Relaxing on Pullman Bus to Valpo (Small)

The bus ride took about an hour and ended up at the Central Station in Valparaiso.  From the station, the only way we could get to the cruise port was to take a van (5000 CL$),  After a little confusion, we did get checked in; our room got changed from 3017 (forward) to 2184 (aft).  A very noisy cabin with the engines being so close.

Valparaiso Harbor looked great from the back deck.

Valpo harbor from Infinity1 (Small)

Valpo harbor from Infinity (Small)

The Activities Manager on this cruise is the same Alejandro that we had on the Century in the Caribbean.  I got a message from him that I would be giving my first talk in the afternoon tomorrow after the ship leaves Coquimbo.

I filmed the promo for talks later in the evening.  There are two other enrichment speakers on board:  Rod Jory (Historian) and Graham Sunderland (Naturalist) as well as a Water Color Artist.

We took in the welcome aboard show – it looks like the singers and dancers on this cruise are really good.

We’ll see about the noise and getting some sleep.

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