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The South America trip

Written on: Sunday April 1st, 2007

A journal entry from: The South America trip

Dec 29th ? Day 1.


Wake up at 9 a.m.


We are scheduled to fly American Airlines (3.30 p.m.) to Dallas Fort Worth and then change planes (9.30 p.m.) for Santiago Chile arriving at 10 a.m. Dec 30th. The cruise liner leaves from Valparaiso (8 p.m. Dec 30th.) on the coast of Chile approximately two hours drive west of Santiago.


I want to be on the road to the airport by 11 a.m. for the 3.30 p.m. flight.  

It?s is not going to happen, packing is a very slow process, I am not feeling inspired. Each of the kids has to phone or come home to tell us of their problems for 30 minutes each - were running out of time.

We get moving at 12:15 p.m., stopping at the store to pick up some gloves and candy. Then on to Tim Horton?s for coffee.  We get to the Airport at 1:10 p.m. and park the car at long term parking. The shuttle bus takes a long ?ten minutes? to come, funny though going through the airport is very quick and no hassle whatsoever.  Not the same security mess that we went through in America for the Jamaica trip.  We take off on time and head for Dallas Fort Worth (DFW).  As we approach DFW the pilot informs us that DFW is having severe rain and we may be diverted.  But with minutes to spare before the diversion we are given clearance to land at DFW, in the middle of a thunderstorm storm.


Miraculously the rain stops and the clouds part for us to land and deplane.  We take the neat people mover mono rail to our next gate for our connecting flight. It?s about 6.30 in the evening so we have a spicy chicken at Popeye?s and then wait for our 9:00 PM flight to Santiago, Chile.  I do not enjoy flying the American airway system of having to go through the airline hub airports. Canada is much nicer as everything flies direct.


We meet other people who have cruise tags on their baggage heading for the same cruise. They explain that the airport has had severe weather and tornado warnings all day that have resulted in people being evacuated to the basement of the Airport.  Flights are being canceled!  Our flight shows as DELAYED.  10:00 PM comes around.  The news on CNN reports that Saddam Hussein was executed at approximately 9:00 PM.  Our flight is then canceled which causes us to panic.  We swarm the A.A. desk and they try to resolve our problem by routing us to Buenos Aires in Argentina and tell us we can get a connecting flight to Santiago, Chile from there.


We fear that we will be late for the ship. Our stress levels start to rise. One of our members has a cell phone and tries to contact the cruise line at the 1-800 number provided.  Meanwhile we are on the flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The flight is not bad but is quite basic, no free drinks mediocre food.  We get a little sleep on the plane, and watch a couple of movies that I cannot remember. 

December 30th ? day 2.


We land in Buenos Aires at about twelve noon local time.  We are told that we will all be placed on a 6:30 PM flight to Santiago Chile.

 Our luggage is not with us.  American Airline says they will try to contact the cruise line to see if they will hold the ship.  They keep coming to tell us that they?ll have an answer in 45 minutes. We sit in the waiting lounge at gate #9 waiting for someone to tell us what is happening.  There are other airlines that fly in the afternoon to Santiago but AA will not put us on them.  We offer to pay our own way but A A. says ?wait till we hear from the cruise line?.  As our options and time dwindle away we learn that the boat will not wait.


We get to Santiago at midnight, stressed and upset, furious with airlines and cruise lines.

We find out that the entry tax into Chile is not the $55 US for each Canadian we are expecting but $132 US each. Celebrity Cruise forgot to tell us this. Our luggage is classified as lost and we must queue to fill out the lost luggage paperwork. Not easy in Spanish and very time consuming.


We are met by the land transfer agent who says that Celebrity Cruise knew fourteen of us were coming and had booked us in at a hotel. However American Airlines has decided to put us up at the Sheraton until we can be flown to the next port of call. There are 27 of us.


It is now December 31.  

Normally I would be thrilled to say I was in the Sheridan at Santiago but here we are with only the cloths we are wearing and no supporting in gear.  But boy is it hot ? 30 deg C. We eat breakfast on the patio, and then we gather in the lobby to try and find out information.  The hotel is good enough to provide a flip chart for us to leave notes on.  We learn that there are 27 of us. We gather and try to make a good thing out of a bad time.  We decided to call ourselves the left behind group, the LBG.  We create name tags so that we can be on a first name terms with each other.  We get help from the land transfer agents who are contracted by the cruise line but not employees of the cruise line.  They spent all morning trying to get information for us without much luck.  We decide that we must get new clothes and toiletries so we arrange with the concierge of the hotel for taxis to the local mall. We also take the opportunity to arrange a sight seeing tour of the city for the afternoon.  Credit cards in hand we head out to shop.  Fortunately Santiago has Boxing Day sales too. We get some great deals on shirts, socks and undies. The mall is very full of people and it feels just like home.  We go back to the hotel and I change in to fresh clothes, shave and generally feel much better.  At 3:00 PM the tour bus arrives and off we go to see the sights.  The good side being that this is new year?s eve and the city is very quiet. It is indeed a wonderful city, beautiful architecture and I wonder how they could afford to build it so ornately. We take lots of photos.  Returning to the hotel from the tour we see a note on our board telling us that the airline will pick us up at 6:00 AM and take as to the Airport to catch an 8.30 plane to catch up with the boat. We decide that we will have our own new year?s eve party.  We asked the hotel to give us some space, they let us have one of the lobby bars.  They will also put some finger food on for us.  We have a nice, quiet social and at midnight we watch the fireworks go off.  The hotel had done a new year?s party with a pirate theme. Tickets were sold out at $250.00 U.S. a person. Hence we did our own party.


January 01, 2007 date 4.


Gathering in the lobby at 5:30 AM waiting for the bus I can recap on Santiago. The hotel people and the land transfer people where terrific. American Airlines and Celebrity cruise have done nothing for us other than AA paying for the hotel. The food in the hotel was fabulous and the meat really has to be tried to understand how good it is.


We get to the Airport and check in. The land transfer agent then announces that the Airport has found cruise luggage in the arrival hall. He arranges for one person from each couple to get through security into the arrival hall to see if we can identify baggage. I am thrilled to see all of mine. Our plane takes off on time. Ana and I have seats on the left side and get to view the Andes all the way down to Puerto Montte. It is spectacular, we see many volcanoes and glaciers, we are given breakfast on the plane and it is very good. The  plane lands at 10:15 AM And it is raining very hard. The Airport is not really modern and not big either, we have to take the steps down to the tarmac and run for the buildings. We get our luggage from the carousel and hug it. There is a Celebrity Cruise representative waiting for us with two buses. The number of left behinds has grown to over 100. The rain continues and it is in the single digits centigrade. We are told the boat is not ready for us until noon and that we will have a tour of the town to use up the time. It is not the tour we had booked on this day and there is really not much to see of the town. It has a mainly German influence, 35,000 people and is surrounded by the Andes mountains on three sides and the ocean on the fourth.

At noon we are delivered to the dock. We pass through security and then get into the tender boat to be delivered to the cruise liner sitting out in the bay. Finally we get on board three days late but here we are [ are we having fun yet?]. The cruise line staff are surprised that we are not in a good mood. They tried to bribe me with a glass of champagne and ended up giving me a bottle. We go to deck two to our cabin, number 2190. We are at the very back of the ship. We do not have a balcony but we have a big porthole window. (Fourth porthole from the back.)  Our luggage has not made it to the ship yet so we decide to go up to deck ten for some lunch where we meet some of the left behind group. We later go down to guest services to complain about being left behind, they are sympathetic but basically say ? oh dear what a pity never mind?, it does not make us feel any better. We go back to our cabin to find our luggage there and gratefully unpack. I am relieved to see that my booze has made it safely and set up a rum and Coke. Ana takes a nap in the cabin while I explore the ship. The ship is huge with twelve decks but is not as ornate as the Costa cruise line boats that we have traveled on in the past.

At 6:00 PM we go down to the main dining hall for supper and to meet the rest of our dining table group.  Derek and Hillary from the UK or to be more precise - Glasgow. 

Derek let?s me know quickly that he is not a royalist. I bite my tongue. The food and the service at supper are excellent.  After supper we go and watch the show and see a young lady play many different types of flutes, explaining their history.  Very interesting, not my idea of entertainment tho, where?s the comic??.  We then take a walk around the top decks as we sailed out of port and head for the Chilean fiords. The temperature is dropping as we head south.


January 2 - day five.


A day at sea. Ana is not getting out of bed today, she?s suffering from exhaustion, stress and is throwing up, she also has a fever. I do the day on my own, but checked in on her every hour. (dutiful hubby). My day is very busy. I have a large English breakfast - buffet style. There are lectures to go to. I am very pleased to see that I can learn about the nature that we will be seeing and also the history and politics that we will be experiencing. The people giving the lectures are very good and they give different lectures on each sea day. The air must be thinner down here because I have got sunburned from Santiago. By the enclosed pool it is hot in the sun and I settled down to tan and to read my book with the odd nap thrown in.

I also managed to take some sun sights with my sextant, a requirement for my Celestial Navigation course. I do supper and the show on my own. Ana sleeps and upchucks.


January 3 - day six.


Happily Ana is feeling a lot better and she gets out of bed. We do breakfast and I try for more sun sights. The weather does not wish to cooperate and is overcast. The wind strengthens, the seas rise and we start bouncing off the walls as we walk down the hallways. From twelve stories up it doesn?t seem too bad, but once we are back in our cabin on deck two we can see that we are in 30ft waves and our window is being washed by them. It is awesome. I am loving it, fortunately Ana is loving it too.

The girl who does our nature lecture is called Kate, she shows us photos of all the different birds that we can see, Albatrosses, Gannetts and we head off to the deck with our binoculars to see them. It is amazing to think that these birds very rarely touch land and they even sleep while flying. (They shut down half of their brain ? just like I do when I?m driving). We are passing along the Chilean fiords over to our left but the day is very grey and the scenery is very grey and distant. Again the usual thing, supper and the show. I go on deck to try and catch the sunset and do some star sightings with my sextant but again it is all cloud no stars. I remember that it is summer down here and sunset is at 10:45 PM.


January 4 - day seven.


Sunrise is at 4:15 AM. I know this because I am wide awake and decide to go on deck to see what I can see. Up on deck eleven I can see the lights of Punta Arenas in the distance, our next port of call, and the moon is full, wow. I do many Moon sightings with my sextant And then very happily head back to bed by 5:00 AM. We have a 6:20 wakeup call because we have an excursion from Punta Arenas to the Magdalena islands to see Magellan penguins starting at 7.30 a.m. We leave the cruise ship and are bused over to a ferryboat for the two hour cruise down the Magellan straight to the islands where we have an hour and a half with the penguins. As we approach the islands we see penguins swimming by the boat and then we are amazed to see Commodore dolphins swimming alongside. We thought they were penguins until we realize they are way too big to be penguins. I did not know that dolphins could be black and white, what an experience.


The ferry is like a very big landing craft with a ramp that drops down from the front. As we run the boat up the beach and drop the ramp it reminds me of the video of the Normandy landings.  When we step on shore we are surprised by the landscape, there are no trees just grass and rocky outcrops and 14,000 penguins who burrow into the hillside. The place just stinks of fish and the penguins make a noise like a donkey and are also known as Jack ass penguins. There is a roped off walkway to the lighthouse at the top of the hill in the middle of the island.  We are amazed to be in the middle of all the penguins.

I am really happy because this reminds me of the Derbyshire moors, the wind is blowing I am wrapped up and warm. I wonder why I haven?t seen this many penguins in Derbyshire. There are baby penguins whom are just molting and losing their baby fur.  There is also a Seagull colony with chicks.  Now it starts to feel like a vacation, Ana and I look at each other and speak at the same time ?I cannot believe that I am here?.  The time comes for us to leave the island and return by the ferry to the town in very blustery conditions. Once we get on the shore and back on the bus we are given a tour of the town, this is the most southerly town in Chile.  Back at the dock we realize we have some time before we have to go back to the boat, so we stop and shop for postcards and take a few pictures of the town. I find a restaurant where I can buy a Chilean beer [beer is far too expensive on the boat, five U. S. dollars a bottle]. Back on the boat we have supper, see the show then meet with our friends to discuss our day.

January 5 - day 8.


Leaving the Magellan straight behind as we set sail for the Beagle channel and we are excited as this afternoon we are expecting to go around Cape Horn at about 4:30 PM. But again we have to get up early because on the way we will pass by five glaciers between 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM. First is Romanche, followed by the Alemania, Francia, Italia  and then the Holland. (See the photos.) We get quite close to all of these and it just knocks your socks off to see them. It is really hard to believe that the explorers came this way and that the boats such as Captain Cook?s Endeavour was able to navigate through these waters. Just as an aside the voyage of the Endeavour is of interest to me because Sydney Parkinson was on the Endeavour, he was an artist drawing the flowers and the wildlife (maybe we?ll trace ourselves back to him). It is a little disappointing that there is not more color down here everything is in shades of grey except for the ice of the glaciers which is all sorts of blue. The mountain tops are hidden by the low cloud.  But to be here at the end of the Andes and to have all these mountains to the north of you is just amazing. All that stuff we learned in geography way back when is now coming in to use. We spend the morning glued to the railing of the top deck absorbing scenery.  We are well bundled up and not minding the cold at all. The sky clouds over and the waves get higher as we leave the shelter of the mainland and we head out into the very South Atlantic toward the islands of Cape Horn. The water is too rough to take the boat around the island and so we get to within 3km of it before the boat is turned around and we head back to Ushuaia. But again I am speechless that I am at Cape Horn. I was out on deck 11 at the front of the boat for most of the passage. I was well wrapped up in my winter gear video camera running and the winds screaming through the microphone. I was in my element thinking of all those heroes who had gone before. It must have scared the hell out of them. The hardest part was figuring out which one of these rocky outcrops looming out of the darkness was actually cape horn. I am so glad I was on the cruise ship to do this and not in some other much smaller vessel.


January 6 day nine.


Ushuaia is the southern most point of South America on the shore of the Beagle channel. It is part of Argentina.  Up until 1947 it was the home of a penal colony that housed some of the most notorious criminals and many political prisoners. The town sits on the shore with the mighty mountains rising up behind it. It is part of Tierra del Fuego. We are booked on an excursion to go out into the Beagle channel to see several things,

1)      the lighthouse at the end of the world,

2)      an island famous for sea lions and then back up the channel in the other direction to the:

3)       Tierra Del Fuego national park where we will get onto a bus for a drive back to the cruise ship.

Our transport for the seaward leg is a catamaran that will seat 100 people in its comfortable lounge. But first we have some time to run ashore and experience the main street. So we take some photos and purchase some post cards of the end of the world. Boarding the catamaran we set off out of the harbor into the beagle channel. I go up on the observation deck to take spectacular photos of this mountainous scenery. The weather is rough, the waves are high, the wind is strong. The only way people can get off the observation deck is to shuffle on their bums to the stairs. Many people do not look happy. I anchor myself to the railing with one arm and take pictures with the other, stills and video. Looking at the waves I realize that if I went overboard I would last about fifteen minutes only. The water is cold, the occasional wave hits hard and spume hits my face like a thousand needles. Thank goodness for Canadian winter gear and sailing on Guelph Lake ? it?s just like home!!!

We approach the island that holds the lighthouse. It is the most southerly lighthouse and known as the one at the end of the world, yes I can believe it. We then head off through the waves to the further island to see sea lions. I am starting to feel battered and bruised and think that ?I will not do this on the way back in but I will stay in the salon where it is nice and warm?. We hold our position off the island to let the people take photos of the sea lion colony lazing on the rocks. They are not very active but look like a mass of rolled carpets in a store. The wind takes my breath away.

The captain turns the boat to head back up the Beagle channel to the national park. I carefully make my way back to the salon and joined Ana. The bow of the boat starts to pound into the waves. Cries of ?Wow ? Awesome?, as the wave crashes over the top of the boat. With the second wave there is a subtle sound ?Chink? as the wave hits the front window. Then with the third wave the windows impload and we are taking on water!! (Oh Sh1t!!).

People are too surprised to panic but I know this is not a good situation, each wave is coming into the boat. People are starting to shiver and I see signs of impending hypothermia. The crew responds very well and instructs people to move to the back of the boat. I have visions of the captain letting us off at a rocky outcrop where we must wait for another boat. The crew starts to rip open t-shirts from the gift shop to hand out as dry clothing people. The captain turns the boat broadside to the waves and we limp to the shore about a mile away. Most of us hold our breath, cross our fingers and legs. People are picking glass out of their hair. Fortunately we were about 2 miles directly off the port of Ushuaia and we make it safely back to the dock. I know it was a dangerous situation, the crew handled it well however the pilot should have been shot. Another part of the adventure!! It is 12 noon.


Now what? -  back to the cruise ship to complain to guest services that our excursion had ended prematurely in near disaster. After half an hour complaining we are told that we will be bused out to the national park after lunch. The adventure continues.


The day does not end badly because the tour to the national park is spectacular in its beauty. The bus travels gravel roads to literally the end of the road. The end of the Transamerica highway, the other end is in Alaska. 1000km south of us is Antarctica. We visit Lake Roca a huge lake surrounded by high peaks, it reminds me very much of Switzerland. Fantastic photos and scenery. At the lake gift shop I buy an Argentine beer, it is a bock style, dark and full bodied. The national park is plagued by 2 animals, rabbits and the Canadian beaver. I have never seen so many damn rabbits. Why don?t you eat them we ask? Our guide replies that ?they are not in our diet?.  The beaver were introduced to combat the rats and hopefully start a fur trade,

 but nobody told the beaver that they were supposed to eat the rats. So the beaver did what beaver do? they made dams, flooded valleys and killed trees. We kept quiet about being Canadians.

If ever you get the chance please stop and see this national park.  After an exhausting day we set sail again this time for the Falkland Islands aka the Malvenas. We stay up late taking in the glory of sunset at 10:45 PM - this is incredible. So very desolate and yet we see the occasional house on the shoreline. What do people do that live there?


January 7 - day ten.


- Another day at sea, so we lounge or eat and sleep. I take sun sights. The lecture on the Falkland Islands is very good, detailing its history and its? commerce. 1200 people live there with 2 hundred thousand sheep. It is also the home to king penguins. We spend more time at bird watching. We spot Wandering Albatross, Black Browed Albatross and Giant Petrels. It is amazing to follow their antics from the back of the boat. I think of Monty Python and ?Gannet on a stick!!? and I decide to take ?a Tern around the deck?.


In the evening Ana and I join our friends John and Gloria in the specialized restaurant, SS United States for a rather elegant supper. We are treated to a five course meal with a different glass of wine for each course. John and Gloria surprise us with a Chocolate cake, complete with candles celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. What a night we had!  -What are the poor people doing???


January 8 day eleven.


Waking up we find ourselves in the bay just off Port Stanley, we must hurry as we are on a full day excursion 8:00 AM. We are tendered to the shore. It is fabulous to be somewhere where they speak English rather than Spanish. We join John and Gloria for our 4x4 excursion. This means that we jump into 1 of 23 land rovers, four people and a driver in each.  Our driver is the local, carpenter and also the town?s mortician. We drive for an hour on the paved road, half an hour on a gravel road, then an hour across the Peat and open countryside to Volunteer Bay. This is a very desolate place. There are no trees just moor and rock. It reminds me very much of the Derbyshire moors or if you are Canadian - being north of Sudbury. We are amazed by the geography, there are Rivers of rocks, no water just rocks. Our guide Tony cannot explain where they come from.

I am saddened by the many occurrences of mine fields. Most of the beaches are mined. These areas are fenced off with little flags flying ? ?beware mines?. The Argentineans lost the maps of the mine fields and the mines themselves are made out of plastic so cannot be detected. I am very glad we do not have to stop the land rover to take a pee.


The temperature is almost warm - still in single digits. In the middle of the moor our land rover breaks down. Surprise.surprise. we are given the choice to wait while it is repaired or to jump in the back of other land rovers and ride the spare tires. We are not going to wait so we climb into the back of other vehicles for a very bumpy ride. We arrive at Volunteer bay and find ourselves amongst the penguins again. This time they are King and Gentoo penguins. We are thrilled.  This is why we came. We eat our packed lunch amongst the penguins. Our land rover has been repaired, the accelerators cable had snapped, Tony was able to rig a repair. After an hour with the penguins we climb back into the land rovers and head back for the boat two and a half hours away. Arriving in Port Stanley with twenty minutes to spare I dive into a pub for a pint of John Smith?s Yorkshire bitter. Ana runs off to photo more of the town. The Falklands has to be one of my best stops, not just for the beer. So much like ?over ?ome?. Having traveled across the island I really appreciate what the British forces had to do to take the island back from Argentina. It must have been hell for both sides. I learnt what it meant to the locals to be British and I wonder why Argentina would want the islands at all. I could see no point its just hunks of rock in the middle of the Atlantic.

What an amazing trip this is. During supper the boat pulls away from the Falklands and we head north again towards Argentina. I think back and decide that I really would like to come back to these most southern parts of the world.


January 9 - day twelve


We are sailing towards Puerto Madryn in Argentina a distance of 634 nautical miles. -another day at sea - food, reading and lectures. We spend the afternoon in the sauna and in the hot tubs etc. feeling good.

At night Ana and I go on to deck twelve to see stars. The nights is warm, the deck protected and we can lay down and just stare at the stars, not a cloud in the sky. I see Orions? belt and the milky way. We meet a fellow stargazer who has come from Saint Petersburg, Russia. He points out the Southern Cross to us. This again is amazing, another item crossed off my life list. I take star sightings and try for a 3 body fix.

Back in the cabin we watch a movie on television ?the Barnyard?. Not a penguin in it! But it really is a funny movie so if you can - rent it. I actually laughed.


January 10 day 13

Puerto Madryn on the east coast of Argentina half way between the river Plate and Tierra Del Fuego. For some reason the Argentine government decided to create an aluminum plant here. All the materials are imported and aluminium exported.

It is also the home of a bull seal colony. Our excursion today includes seeing the colony but first we travel two hours down the main highway to a Welsh village. Yes you read it right. The drive down the highway is surprising, we are on the Argentine pampas and we are still in Patagonia. There is nothing to see but scrub brush for miles - as far as the horizon. Sadly we did not see any Rhea, the ostrich like Bird, no Armadillos, just scrub. But when we get to the Welsh village we have a wonderful lunch of traditional Welsh food. It reminded me of my vacations in Wales many years ago. We then have a treat - a visit to a dinosaur museum. This was fabulous. Then we get back on the bus for the two hour drive back to Puerto Madryn and the bull seal colony. We cannot get close to the colony but observe them from a lookout at the top of the cliff as they lie on the beach below. Thank goodness for the zoom lens. The weather is warming up and we are positively hot.

Back to the boat for supper and the show. The entertainment is a gent called Bob Arno.  He amazed us with his knowledge of pickpockets and their techniques. He was fabulous and I learned a lot from him.  Look out for him on TV.


January 11 day fourteen


A day at sea, the weather is warm up in the eighties Fahrenheit. We laze and get sunburned. We attend the lectures on Montevideo, Uruguay and on Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tonight is one of the formal nights so we have to dress for supper. It is very good - prime rib and lobster. At midnight they do the formal buffet that involves the wonderful presentations of the food and the ice sculptures etc..etc.. Very beautiful. I eat again.


January 12 day fifteen


We wake up to find ourselves in Montevideo, the day is very hot.  We head out for our excursion which includes a tour of the city and a visit to a vineyard outside of the city.  Montevideo is a beautiful place, very elegant.  Ever public building we visit has guards in formal dress.  It is very, very clean. We go to many public Parks and see very large, wonderful sculptures.  I would love to come back and spend more time here.  We drive out to the vineyard which also is huge.  We do the wine tour and a full meal with five types of wine.  We are very happy and feeling no pain.  When we return to the dock I get off the bus to take photos of the anchor and other equipment from the Graff Von Spee that was scuttled in the river during world war two. Back on the boat we enjoy our last supper on the boat, the staff bring out a chocolate cake to celebrate our wedding anniversary and they sing to us. I drop down on one knee and ask Ana for another 30 years.


January 13 day sixteen


Here we are in Buenos Aires, Argentine. This is a pilgrimage for Ana because she was born here. The city is huge even looking at it from the dock. I am twelve stories up of course and when I realize this I don?t know ?vertigo? so I decide to go downstairs again. Today is a tour of the city and in the evening we have a dinner and a tango show. Thankfully it is Sunday and most of the people who live in the city have gone north to the beaches. The city is very empty. We visit the old quarter where the Italian immigrants settled and built houses out of corrugated iron and painted them in bright colors. I buy a leather hat and belt. This is the Camino district, next to La Boca ? home of the soccer team.  Then we go to the Ricoletta district to visit the cemetery where Eva Perron is buried. To be honest I preferred Montevideo.  This place is too big. The supper and the tango show is excellent, I love the music and the dancing.  We returned to the boat at 10:30 PM and must pack our bags.