Wednesday, February 15, 2012

South America and Antarctica 17 - More Penguins

Further along the edge of the ice flow, we saw an Adelie penguin walk right up to the edge of the water and dive in.  He never paused at the edge of the ice.  I expected him to pause, and so wasn't ready with my camera when he dove in.

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South America and Antarctica 16 - Icebergs and Penguins

The next day found us sailing into what is called the Weddell Sea, which is located behind and to the south of the Antarctica peninsula.

We had sailed past some huge icebergs the previous day.  But now they were all around us. It has been estimated that that there are approximately 300,000 icebergs in the Southern Ocean at any one time.

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South America and Antarctica 15 - Drake Passage

The roughly 600 mile passage between the southern top of South America and the Antarctic peninsula has justifiably been called the roughest stretch of ocean on earth. 

When it's bad, it's called the Drake shake.  Thirty to fifty foot swells with winds above 60 miles per hour are not uncommon.  But we were fortunate enough to get what is known as the Drake lake on our way over.

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South America and Antarctica 14 - We Set Sail

Our cabin on Le Boreal was cozy, as most cruise ship cabins are, but comfortable.

A view from the front door.

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South America and Antarctica 13 - Ushuaia, Southernmost City in the World.

Located at the very southern tip of Argentina, in the Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) province, Ushuaia is a bustling city of over 60,000. 

The mountains surrounding this picturesque city, which prides itself as being the southernmost city in the world, are the very southern tip of the Andes mountain range which runs the entire length of South America.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

South America and Antarctica 12 - More Buenos Aires

Or tour took us to the Caminito Area in Buenos Aires after the cathedral.  Settled by poor immigrants who worked in the nearby port, this was originally a poorer, as in very poor, part of town.  Now, however, the Caminito Area is a bustling tourist district.

One feature of this district is that a large number of the houses here are painted many different colors.

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South America and Antarctica 11 - Buenos Aires

We landed in Buenos Aires around noon, were picked up by a very nice tour company representative.

He dropped us off at the front door and hurried off to pick up another passenger for our cruise at another airport.  When we walked into the lobby of the Caesar Park Hotel (above) I was sure the nice driver had taken us to the wrong place. This looked like a palace, not a hotel.  Check out that staircase.   
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South America and Antarctica 10 - We Leave Iguazu Falls

I very much appreciate you hanging in there with all of the waterfall images I've shown you.  Iguazu Falls park had such a profound impact on me that, as discussed previously, I have admited to getting more than a little carried away.

When we have traveled in recent years, instead of attempting to "document" our journey, I've made an effort to only photograph what happens to interest me.
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South America and Antarctica 9 - Iguazu Falls - Lower Trail

Trails in the Iguazu Falls park were delights in their own right.  .

Wonderful surprises greeted us around nearly every corner.
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South America and Antarctica 8 - Iguazu Falls - More Upper Trail

We came across another dazzling set of falls as we continued along the upper trail.

The trail brought us across a bridge at the very top of these falls, where I took this frame, and then wound its way around to the bridge you see above...

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South America and Antarctica 7 - Iguazu Falls - Upper Trail

Besides the Devil's Throat, there are two main trails at the Iguazu Falls park.  The upper trail, takes one along the top of the different falls.  The lower trail, the bottom. 
We took the upper trail first, which took us along the top of a line of falls that easily had to be a mile long.  As I mentioned before, Niagara Falls wouldn't even be noticed in this place.
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South America and Antarctica 6 - Iguazu Falls - We take a ride.

If all I ever saw of Iguazu Falls was the Devil's Throat (as seen in the last post) I would have felt as though the time and expense to travel here would have been worth it.

But the Devil's Throat was only the beginning.  Nearly Everywhere we looked we saw more picturesque falls.  So many that it was nearly overwhelming.  The little falls above, for example, would easily make a nice centerpiece for a state park somewhere.

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