February 04, 2006 GMT
Lighat at the End of the Tunnel

The Queen Mary 2 is a really beautiful vessel. I was able to do a direct comparison between her and the Regal Princess, a rather smaller and considerably less classy ship in port at the same time.

The QM2, of course, sports the correct livery of blue hull, white superstructure, and red funnel with those very narrow black horizontal lines. And by heaven she's big. Unfortunately I missed seeing her steam up the strait as I had to get the morning flight, but the sight of her moored in the port more than made up for that.

With both ships being in at once the town was overrun with more than 3,000 cruise passengers, and one side of the Plaza de Armas was coned off for the coaches (many of the poor dears were unable to walk the half mile from the pier to the town centre).

She's gone now, threading up the fjords to Puerto Montt, then to Valparaiso and finally Los Angeles in California.

Anyway, things are looking up. I was down to my last book ("South", by Ernest Shackleton - a cracking account of the Endurance expedition) but I found a little bookshop here in Punta Arenas which has a shelf of previously-enjoyed paperbacks in English; or did until I raided the shelf. And I went to the post office this morning and two very helful gentlemen checked the parcel tracking number and opined that my parts will arrive in Porvenir on Monday evening (they were confirmed as being in Santiago last Thursday). I suspect they may even be in the nose hold of the little Cessna I'm flying back on. I'll keep everything crossed.

Tomorrow I'm going on an excursion to Fuerte Bulnes and Puerto Hambre. Jolly interesting historical places, as Francisco said.

Posted by Cynthia Milton at February 04, 2006 04:16 PM GMT
 
 

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