Island Vibes May 2024

amela and Bill Marsh are active retirees passionate about travel and ecotourism. They recently enjoyed a cruise in South America that took them to several breathtaking ports of call. Starting in the port city of Valparaiso, Chile, the couple explored Chile’s capital, Santiago. “This capital city boasts a rich repository of historic architecture, including the Palace of Fine Arts and the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas,” said Pamela. From Valparaiso, they sailed past the many fjords and the spectacular Amalia Glacier off Chile’s coast. Further south, the ship navigated the Beagle Channel, which is named for the HMS Beagle, the ship that took famed naturalist Charles Darwin on his first expedition around the world, affording unforgettable views of glaciers that flow to the Pacific from the Andes. “A favorite port of call was the city 23 TRAVEL Travel: A sojourn to South America is good for the soul By Isabel Alvarez Arata Photos Provided. P of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and the closest population center to the South Pole,” recounted Pamela. “It has an outpost atmosphere, as the Antarctic adventurers depart from here. Ushuaia is also the gateway to the celebrated Tierra del Fuego, the “land of fire” named by the Spaniards upon seeing the constant flames burned by the indigenous Yamana to keep warm.” The Marshes enjoyed seeing Tierra del Fuego’s picturesque lighthouse and observing its resident sea lions. “The beach master, the large male sea lion, was basking in the sun on a warm January day, surrounded by hundreds of sea lions who were either sunbathing, frolicking in the surf or barking at each other! On a nearby Chilean island, a colony of penguins waddled along the shoreline. Magellanic penguins, Humboldt penguins and Southern rockhopper penguins fished in the Pacific Ocean and enjoyed a secluded habitat on their rocky island,” exclaimed Pamela, delighted by these majestic beings. Another highlight of their trip was “rounding the horn.” Cape Horn is Bill and Pamela Marsh at Puerto Varas, Chile, with snowcapped Volcano Osorno in background Tierra del Fuego features a lighthouse and a sea lion colony Penguins on Isla Martillo Bill Marsh bird watching at Ciudad del Plata in Uruguay Amalia Glacier part of the Hermite Islands archipelago. Home to the world’s southernmost traditional-style lighthouse and many unfortunate shipwrecks, Cape Horn is located where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet. Pamela and Bill continued their journey by heading north along the Atlantic coast of Argentina. They stopped at the country’s second-largest fishing port, Puerto Madryn, which boasts Welsh, Italian and Spanish influences. “Puerto Madryn is the gateway city to the scenic Valdes Peninsula, an important nature reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site. A variety of birds and sea lions and even guanaco and sheep live in the nature reserve,” said Pamela. Montevideo, Uruguay’s striking capital city situated on the estuary waters of the Rio de la Plata River, allowed the Marshes to observe 50 different bird species during an early morning expedition. “Within the walls of the Old City are impressive colonial-era buildings of the Spanish and Portuguese. Historic neoclassical and art deco architecture provide glimpses into the city’s past as a posh seaside resort,” Pamela added. The last stop on the Marshes’ adventure was Buenos Aires, Argentina, which also sits along the Río de la Plata. Buenos Aires is known for the tango and Eva and Juan Peron. Visitors can tour the Plaza de Mayo, the Evita Museum and the site of Eva’s burial in the Recoleta Cemetery. While they enjoyed watching the tango dancers, Pamela isn’t sure she’ll be taking up tango anytime soon. Instead, the couple will relish in their newfound appreciation for Chilean wines.