Montevideo and on to penguin land…Puerto Madyrn

Regent ship was also in port

Regent ship was also in port

So you all can picture where I am at the moment I’m sitting in the lounge area on deck where we had our first beer onboard.
They’ve closed the glass roof so we are protected from the breeze that is getting cooler as we head south at 20 knots. 

Yesterday we were in Montevideo. It’s was a Sunday so most of the businesses and shops were closed. It worked out well for us to just wander the streets and get a feeling of the city. We were lucky enough to find an Internet cafe with fairly good speed internet to upload more photos to our stream. 
We found the city a little triste (sad), as many of the buildings were in a state of deterioration as well as a fair amount of graffiti both artistic and destructive. 

There was this cool food hall in an old warehouse that was a real highlight of our stop. Great photo material but since we have been so well fed so far there was no appetite other than a visual one. Lots of local families were eating there. It must be a family outing on Sundays. 

Time enough left to upload our photos before we were back on the ship for the 5pm departure. Was it enough time? Sure was.

The ship has self service laundries on each of the cabin decks. But they were closed from departure in Buenos Aires to this afternoon at 4pm in Montevideo. Since we already had been traveling for a week, I thought I would do a load right when we got onboard in Buenos Aires. So at 4:30 I took my bag of laundry and innocently strolled down the corridor in the direction of the laundry. A guy with hangers in his hand came out of his cabin and laughed when he saw my bag of laundry. He said it’s madness in there and wished me luck. Cautiously opening the door, it was a scene from what I would imagine a true Chinese laundry!! Complete with all 8 washers going and all ironing boards and irons in use. There’s a very large percentage of Chinese onboard and true to form they invaded the laundry rooms at opening time on ALL decks!
Deciding that I could do with waiting until Chinese had had their “turn” I retreated to our verandah.

Great views of departing Montevideo. It’s very shallow and hence brown mud for miles and miles. There’s a narrow channel for miles and miles and we had a slight encounter with a Cosco freighter. I will upload a photo when I can. This morning at the bistro having our double espresso macchiato we overheard the captain speaking with two of his crew about the incident. 
We are all too familiar unfortunately with freighters not respecting the rules of navigation. Had Joe not taken evasive actions on our route between St Lucia and Martinique we would have been run over by a huge freighter! We hailed and hailed and got no response until after the incident the freighter replied “our destination is San Juan”! 

Dinner last night was excellent again. We had a different waiter Lobo from India who treated us like royalty. Joe started with Dungeness crab and spinach tart (in light philo), we both had a lovely roquette salad with eggplant chips on the top with a light sesame dressing. Joe had a fish again, sea beam – like sea bass. I had angus rib eye. 
Dessert for joe was an incredible chocolate mousse square and I had non fat coffee yogurt that was to die for. 
We returned to our verandah to sip on Benedictine that will be left in our cabin every night, and enjoyed the twilight and the ocean that has now turned from muddy brown to blue. 

It was warm enough to read on the verandah at night underway

It was warm enough to read on the verandah at night underway

Today, Monday is a day at sea. After coffee at the bistro, we went to our first class of USC digital filmmaking course … iMovie for the iPad.
The instructors and funny and informative and the hour passed all too quickly. It’s going to be super to have this information for this trip. We already have our first assignment, and it’s perfect as tomorrow in Puerto Madyrn we are going on a 7-1/2 hour excursion down to Punta Tomba wildlife reserve where supposedly the penguins return every year to lay their eggs. By now they should have just hatched and we are free to walk amongst them and take photos as they are not frightened by our presence. If this is the case, I don’t care how long it takes to upload in the ships wifi I’m going to post at least one photo of my first penguin sighting. 
It’s really penguin madness onboard everyone has top on their list wanting to see a penguin. Many (myself included) that they’ve promised a penguin to someone back home :))

There are loads of educational opportunities going on, from our iPad iMovie class to golf clinics with a PGA pro, needlepoint classes (with free kit per passenger … J saving it for you), watercolor for everyone, loads of computer classes in their computer lab equipped with 27″ iMacs, and enrichment programs with lectures today on topics: “fighting over the Falkland Islands”, “Margaret thatcher and the Falkland Islands” and the one we’ll be attending shortly “Antarctica: the last great wilderness. Introducing antarctica -it’s physical environment, wildlife and modern scientific activity”. Unfortunately with all that goes on onboard each day there are inevitable conflicts. We will have to miss the Pilates class, that I’ve been anxious to try.  

I’ll sign off for now. So excited about tomorrow! 
Lisa & Joe