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Cruise Diary: Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas

Dutch TV host and adventure seeker Charlotte Squarcy is on board for segment of Amsterdam’s Grand World Voyage, and she is chronicling her journey. Enjoy!

On the Torres del Paine National Park excursion.

On the Torres del Paine National Park excursion.

Well, last post I promised a surprise. I popped for the excursion adventure to South America’s premiere Torres del Paine National Park. It was an “E” ticket ride with nine transportation transfers. I counted as we left the port for the Twin Engine Otter flight to another bus and then a trek to the iconic vista.

Although there had been a wildfire over part of the park, I am happy to report that we saw plenty of wildlife indigenous to the upland plateau from where these mountain formations, which are actually newer that the Andes, rose. Our geologist guide gave us a very well explained account on how the mountains formed through a violent intrusion and exfoliation of granite with igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic layers. I have to say that the quality of the guides available on tours has been exceptionally over-qualified and I credit the department of HAL for making such arrangements.

I have the time to write to you now because we have had to layover a day in Punta Arenas due to heavy seas and a large storm in the Pacific between Easter Island and us. Captain Mercer is giving us updates as to revisions in the itinerary that may be required. As Easter Island is the prime reason for my journey I have my fingers crossed, but understand “safety first.” After all, this is not just a pretty picture on TV, this is really out there living with the ocean and she dictates all. So if I am cranky the next two days it will be because I put on a patch and don’t imbibe!

I had a tour of the city tacked on to the trip when we got back from the mountains and so I am snooping around for new experiences the ship offers today. Luckily, I ran into the Dutch florist aboard who will be the subject of an entire blog post soon. The florist, Calista, might be producing a book about the floral arrangements aboard and, if so, I am sure it will surpass the popular “animals made of towels” book! She is so lucky to have the chance to pick up flowers all over the world and work them into designs for specific places on the ship, applying Dutch classical principles or Japanese ichibana — for myself, just learning how to preserve a bouquet longer is a challenge!

So, two days of rough weather ahead. Therefore, I am headed for the outdoor hot tub before it may have to be drained for a while.

4 Comments
  • Catherine

    What a dramatic picture with the contrast of the water and the sky.

  • Ine

    Being dutch myself I wonder for what TV/radiostation or magazine Charlotte works. Sorry to say I had never heard of her.

  • Sandra

    Charlotte! So glad to see you finally made it to Torres del Paine! Keep enjoying this fantastic journey!

  • Charlotte van Hoorn

    Ina…www.ManBijtHond.nl. I just participated in a Skype greeting for the network and was asked if I would be in The Netherlands for the King’s Day next year!

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