Montevideo: Not quite as nice as BA. Slightly cooler and not as big. We didn’t get out to the beaches, but they are supposed to be excellent. Forget the leather shop that advertises aggressively on the ship and ashore. Too expensive and not the best quality. We did take their shuttle to the shop which got us half way to the downtown area. Easy walk from the ship to the Independence Square where there is lots of shopping. Prices are very good. On the 2 day trip to the Falklands, we should have put on sun screen!!
Ushuaia: Kind of a frontier town like the Alaskan cruise ports, but a bit poorer. through boggy forests with a guide that walked too fast and explained little. I took the cormorant and sea lion boat tour that is just an extended harbor cruise. Saw plenty of birds and sea lions up close. Of course Joanne took the camera and got virtually nothing and then couldn’t figure out how to change the battery. But I’m not bitter. Male sea lions proclaiming their territory are very large and menacing. We met for lunch at a restaurant called l’Estancia and I had the local lamb which was excellent and Joanne had a crab dish she enjoyed. Very nice meal and a break from the ships food. Weather here was excellent with a few high clouds and the usual wind. Temps in the high 50’s.
Puerto Montt: Here we did an all day tour to the Petrohue Cascades and Osorno Volcano. The Cascades are very photogenic but there are just too many people in a small area. The Osorno Volcano (which is dormant) is a dominating mountain over the entire valley. Looks like Mt Fuji. Our tour took us half way up the mountain to the chair lift. We didn’t go up the lift as the view was quite spectacular from the ski lodge. Our camera was far too small to take decent pictures of the valley below us (or any of the icebergs, whales, penguins etc we’d been seeing all week). We stopped for a lunch at a local hotel and had some nice salmon. On the mountain, the temperature was quite pleasant. We only needed a sweater, but we had a gorgeous day without a cloud in the sky. Very long drive back down the mountain and then a little (far too little) time in Punta Veras a very nice beach town on a lake.