Onboard and first port...

Santiago Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
Vina Del Mare

On Sunday morning, we took a taxi down to Valparaiso. It's a two hour drive when you go the scenic route which is via wineries on the way and Vina Del Mar. Vina Del Mare is World Heritage protected and it's easy to see why. It's a big town set on a hill, the buildings and houses have a really unique style of architecture with many standard buildings being the same as back home until you get to the top floors and then there is a swiss chalet type effect on the top level and roof. It's different to anything I,ve seen before. The town is speckled in pastel colours of the varying houses and there are parks, fountains and bridges scattered around. It's really pretty! As you approach the waterfront of this old port (now replaced by Valparasio, it's neighbour) it's fun and everything is happening down here. It feels a bit like Monaco - even has a swank casino.

Vina Del Mare

So, driving through here was both gut wrenching and loud. Billy and I had discussed staying down here for the night before the cruise but said no for a few reasons. We couldnt find anything cheap and available, thought it wouldn't be that special and thought moving us all with our 8 pieces of luggage would be a fag. So that was our gut wrenching moment of regret which was set to the loud and annoying soundtrack of both the kids winging "why didnt we stay here, this looks really nice". So if you're ever in this part of the world - stay in Vina Del Mare!

Onboard the Radiance of the Seas, it was everything we thought it would be. Big, loud and impressive. Everything was polished and shiny, music playing in the foyer, glass lifts yo-yo'ing up and down the Centrum. Mostly Americans onboard. It's not a full cruise - about 3/4 I'd say. The amount of food consumed is astounding! My "I'm not taking the lifts at all" plan was pretty much ruined when I found out we we're on level 3 and everything fun was on level 11/12.

Yeah, we all know the drill.... Look silly.
And there's no point in climbing 8 flights of stairs to go to gym.

Last night was fun!! It was 70's night. Billy and I did the "name that 70's tune" game and won. The kids had a party in the kids club so Billy and I hit the Starquest lounge for some serious 70's dancing. It wouldn't be a true 70's night without the appearance of the Village People. The We want you, we want you, we want you as a new recruit belted out on the dance floor as the guys did their stuff to In the navy. Always a fan of the construction worker, the cowboy, the indian....ok, all of them - I loved the whole flashback. The guys were really good and the crowd loved them!

Today was our first day in port after two days at sea. We went to Puerto Montt. It was nothing spectacular (as we'd been told it wouldnt be) and so we took the local bus to Puerto Varas. Billy foolishly took the advise of the captain by wearing only a light jumper and no jacket at all after we were told there would be just a chance of light showers.

How handsome!!!!!
To say it was raining and miserable would be an understatement. Think of the worst weather you could possibly imagine. I'm talking pelting rain, flash flooding, chilling winds and puddles everywhere. Even with our rain jackets and all, James, Lauren and I were all thoroughly soaked and freezing. But what can you do? Where here just for the one day so you just have to go with it. And so we did.

It was very much a moment of "are we having fun yet?" and with the exception of watching Billy get thoroughly soaked and scurrying like a rat from tree cover to bus shelter seeking a dry spot - it wasnt great fun. All in all though, we soldiered on through the weather. Bought Billy a jacket, Lauren some gum boots and we explored Puerto Varas in the rain. You could really see how pretty this town would be if it wasn't the worst weather ever. There's a strong German heritage in this town and you can see hints of it from the souerkraut on the menu to the chalet type housing.

Formal night
Osorno volcano is usually visible from town and really picturesque but we couldn't see with the water pelting directly into our faces and the lack of visual through the thick grey sky. But we saw some really small Chilean towns today that were nothing like anything the kids or I had seen before. And we have bought stuff in the supermarket, bus tickets, ordered lunch and all without any english....and 'mostly' with success.

Thanks for the emails!!! Received way too many asking who Billy is. Dim and I met Billy at a beach bar in Goa in '06. We were debating a Bob Dylan clip when Billy (from Belfast) jumped in and clarified. He hung with us in Goa for a few days and tolerated our constant banter, aided our bartering and drank with us in the evening. Emails passed and last year all three of us caught up again in Prague for 3 days of pretty much the same. Apart from his appauling palm reading skills :) he's good craic and way too easy to travel with.

Lauren tackles the escargot and likes them....as does James.
It's provided a few awkward moments on board when people meet the four of us together and assume we're all one family. You'd think the two strong accents were a give away, but no. It's been funny trying to explain it. When chatting to Dim via email (as I do!!) she kindly came up with some great suggestions on how to handle it and I reckon I'll give at least one or two of them a go. Thanks Dim - it's not the same without you - I need you to help me annoy Billy - he's recruiting the kids onto his side and they gang up on me!

Consider getting a T-shirt printed with: ``I’m single. The weird Irishman just keeps following me around. Please call the police. He frightens me.’’.

Pretend he is your oldest son, but that he has that weird disease that makes kids age prematurely.

I Googled it for you. It’s called Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. (I’m nothing if not thorough).

Make him wear black pants, a white shirt and fetch things for you all day and tell everyone he is your personal waiter. Then offer his services out to others on board. Tell everyone he works for pretzels.

Make him wear a dress and wig and say he is your au pair.

Pretend he doesn’t exist. If anyone mentions him to you, just look puzzled, shake you head slowly, say ``who?’’ and then change the subject.

Start passing out his mobile number to desperate women you see on board.

Meet the village people! Indian.
..in fact why limit it to girls? Make his life a bit more interesting and hand it out to men as well.

Get him drunk, shave his eyebrows and chain him naked to the ships staircase. It won’t help with your problem – but how much fun would that be!!!

Tell him you stashed beer in the toilet cistern to keep it cold and when he goes in search, lock him in there for the rest of the trip. It’s not cruel He’ll have water and a place to sit down.

If it gets too much, just get him drunk and push him overboard.

 

Shellann says:
Yeah, will work through the list and I'm also thorough so will be sure to not leave anything out. Ah, poor Billy. If it's not bad enough putting up with me and the kids....
I agree, construction worker was my fav too :)
Posted on: Apr 02, 2009
debbiej says:
hi ya guys great photos. I like the suggestion that dim made about Billy getting drunk and chain him naked, actually they are all pretty good so start from the top of the list and work down. I think I like the construction worker the best, although getting arrested would not be to bad. Sounds as though you are all having a blast take care love deb
Posted on: Apr 01, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Vina Del Mare
Vina Del Mare
Vina Del Mare
Vina Del Mare
Yeah, we all know the drill....  L…
Yeah, we all know the drill.... …
How handsome!!!!!
How handsome!!!!!
Formal night
Formal night
Lauren tackles the escargot and li…
Lauren tackles the escargot and l…
Meet the village people!  Indian.
Meet the village people! Indian.
Indian still
Indian still
Policeman - yeah, his glasses.
Policeman - yeah, his glasses.
Construction worker
Construction worker
Sailor and biker
Sailor and biker
Puerto Montt
Puerto Montt
Puerta Varas
Puerta Varas
Puerta Varas
Puerta Varas
The bus back from Puerta Varas to …
The bus back from Puerta Varas to…
Small village off Puerta Montt.
Small village off Puerta Montt.
Santiago
photo by: Bluetraveler