March 12 & 13, 2016
We arrived safely in Santiago, Chile approx 1/2 hour late due to a late departure from Pearson. Our direct Air Canada flight was largely uneventful. I did sleep for a fair bit during our 10 hour and 40 minute flight with Jill catching some shuteye too. There is only a one hour time difference here in Chile.
We transferred from Santiago to Valparaiso by bus. The temperature in Santiago was a comfortable 27 degrees. The countryside along the way was interesting and included many varieties of palm trees. The terrain could best be described as rolling and the bus had to navigate up some steep hills that I believe, were the beginnings of the Andes Mountain Range. We traveled through two long tunnels along the way. The vast majority of the housing we saw would qualify as shacks in North America, looking quite dilapidated and slapped together.
We saw numerous wineries along the way featuring fields of grape vines and most had quite elegant looking tasting rooms. To our chagrin, the bus did not stop at any of these places! We also saw a fair bit of corn that appeared to be ready for harvesting. Valparaiso seems to be quite a large city built on the side of a mountain so the drive in was quite steep and interesting. We arrived in Valparaiso around 3:00 pm and the temperature dropped to 21 degrees. Upon arrival, we went directly to the cruise ship terminal. We did pickup our allotted two bottles of wine at the terminal. Check in was a breeze and we were on board in our stateroom shortly after 4:00 pm. The port in Valparaiso is a working port and not much to see from a tourist standpoint unless watching containers being loaded on container ships is your thing. It was interesting for a short period of time.
Last night we enjoyed dinner with a couple from Utah, two sisters from Alaska and the last couple from New York at a window table. Jill and I both had Prime Rib beef cooked exactly how we like it. We also ordered a five bottle wine package that should look after us for the next 10 evening dinners. We have reserved this same table for dinner tonight and hopefully we will have it for the remainder of the cruise.
After dinner we went out on deck ten for the sail away, which was a non event. It is the first time we have sailed away from an embarkation point without people on shore waving you away. I guess that is because of the nature of the port. We were approximately 1 1/2 hours late leaving.
Our birth is on the second deck with a very large round window with seating beside it. The bed and pillows are very comfortable. The ship itself, (Celebrity Infinity) is quite nice with 12 decks in total.
Today’s weather is not the greatest, as it is overcast and around 15 degrees. We had breakfast and attended an acupuncture seminar that nearly but us both to sleep. Today and tomorrow are both “at sea” days so it should be quite relaxing.
- Return to: South America & the Panama Canal 2016