South America, 2012

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The numbers refer to the full set of 107 images.

1.  

'Don't be too long.' We left Bonnie the beagle (and Magic the cat) behind in a local pet boarding facility.

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2.  

We boarded Seven Seas Mariner in Callao, a suburb of Lima in Peru. This was taken as we were leaving the harbour, in the evening.

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3.  

Tugs generally accompanied us in harbour areas. This one escorted us out of Callao, the port in Lima, Peru. A technical note: this image was created by combining 3 images taken at almost the same time, with different exposures, using a technique known as 'HDR', 'high dynamic range'. Nrtmally, in a situation like this it is possible to expose correctly for the sea or for the tug but not for both at the same time.

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4.  

Paracas National Reserve, Peru. We docked in the small town of Pisco, Peru, south of Lima. It is a desolate sand-desert area with very little vegetation or wild-life except that which is based on the sea. I asssume this bird is some kind of oyster-catcher. The natural harbour is historically significant because it was the landing place for the army that defeated the Spanish colonal government and gave Peru its independence.

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5.  

The beach near Pisco, Peru. The cautious paddler is Lorraine.

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6.  

The barren desert scenery of the Paracas National Reserve near Pisco, Peru.

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7.  

The ship docked at Matarani, Peru. We went on a 2-hour bus ride, each way, through the mountainous desert to the city of Arequipa, on a river. There we visited an old nunnery that is still active but much of the historical part is open to visitors, even pagans like me. This woman was our guide through the nunnery.

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8.  

The old nunnery in Arequipa, Peru, was mostly covered in this deep red finish.

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9.  

The now-disused kitchen in the old nunnery in Arequipa.

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10.  

Bell tower seen from the nunnery in Arequipa, Peru.

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11.  

Courtyard at the old nunnery in Arequipa, Peru.

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12.  

After touring the nunnery, we were taken to a nearby restaurant for dinner. These two life-size dolls decorated the restaurant entrance.

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13.  

We saw many collar-less dogs with no apparent home throughout Chile and Peru. All were apparently healthy and generally accepted as part of the environment. This dog was in Antofagasta on the Atacama Desert coast, Chile.

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14.  

Most of the time Seven Seas Mariner docked in a container terminal, as seen here, because there were no dedicated cruise ship facilities, even here in Valparaiso, the port city for Santiago, Chile.

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15.  

View of the city of Valparaiso, Chile, from the ship.

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16.  

The fishing harbour at Antofagasta, Chile.

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17.  

The fishing harbour at Antofagasta, Chile.

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18.  

Sea lion in the fishing harbour at Antofagasta, Chile.

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19.  

Pelican in the fishing harbour at Antofagasta, Chile.

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20.  

Street art, Valparaiso, Chile.

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21.  

Mural painting in progress, Valparaiso, Chile.

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22.  

Mural, Valparaiso, Chile.

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23.  

Street art, Valparaiso, Chile. The dinosaur is very upset by the cracked plaster.

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24.  

Street theatre, Valparaiso, Chile. These women were part of a group who came down the street, surrounded us and then moved on. The annual arts festival was just getting started.

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25.  

Spectators watching some street theatre (see also photo 24, 26 and 27), Valparaiso, Chile. The character of Valparaiso and its arts festival reminded us of Wellington, New Zealand.

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26.  

Street theatre performers interacting with Lorraine, Valparaiso, Chile.

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27.  

A street theatre performer, Valparaiso, Chile.

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28.  

Teenager, Valparaiso, Chile.

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29.  

Street artist placing her work on the ground as part of the arts festival, Valparaiso, Chile.

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30.  

Is this real or is it art? Valparaiso, Chile.

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31.  

Housing, Valparaiso, Chile.

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32.  

Performing in a craft mall/market in Puerto Montt, Chile.

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33.  

Fijords near Puerto Montt, Chile.

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34.  

We walked a couple of kilometers to this waterfall near Puerto Chacabulco, Chile.

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35.  

Wild fuschia flowers on the trail to the waterfall, Puerto Chacabulco, Chile.

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36.  

Traditional lamb barbeque, Puerto Chacabulco, Chile.

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37.  

These two performed traditional local dances for us at the barbeque (photo 36), Chacabulco, Chile.

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38.  

We boarded a catamaran to get to this glacier in the fijords near Puerto Chacabulco, Chile.

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39.  

Glacier in the fijords near Puerto Chacabulco, Chile.

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40.  

Growler (piece of glacial ice smaller than an iceberg) near the glacier we took the catamaran to. Near Puerto Chacabulco, Chile.

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41.  

Ice in the Chilean fijords near Puerto Chacabulco.

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42.  

Tempano glacier in the Chilean fijords. The red boat is the rescue boat from the Seven Seas Mariner despatched to pick up a piece of ice from the glacier. Special approval from the Chilean authorities was required, and obtained, to take the ice.

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43.  

The red boat is collecting a piece of glacial ice, from the Tempano glacier, for later display on the Seven Seas Mariner.

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44.  

Seven Seas Mariner in the Chilean fijords. The windows with windscreen wipers are the ship's bridge. The dark windows above are an observation lounge for passengers. The reflection in the bridge windows shows the ship's foredeck which was opened to some passengers for a few hours this morning while the ship was viewing a glacier.

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45.  

The piece of glacial ice (photos 42 and 43) on display on the ship's foredeck. The distorted reflection is of Lorraine.

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46.  

Chef serving morning tea (and stronger) on the foredeck for the special glacier-viewing party.

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47.  

Lorraine on the foredeck of Seven Seas Mariner during the glacier-viewing party.

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48.  

Lorraine and another guest on the foredeck during the glacier-viewing party.

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49.  

The glacier-viewing party for some lucky guests, on the ship's foredeck which is normally out-of-bounds to passengers but was opened for this occasion.

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50.  

Avenue of the Glaciers, Chilean fijords.

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51.  

Cruising through the Avenue of the Glaciers, Chilean fijords. The parts of the ship that are sticking out are the ends of the bridge.

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52.  

Avenue of the Glaciers, Chilean fijords.

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53.  

Avenue of the Glaciers, Chilean fijords.

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54.  

Avenue of the Glaciers, Chilean fijords.

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55.  

Avenue of the Glaciers, Chilean fijords.

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56.  

Magellanic penguins. Near Punta Arenas, Patagonia, Chile.

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57.  

Magellanic penguin. Near Punta Arenas, Patagonia, Chile.

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58.  

Magellanic penguin. Near Punta Arenas, Patagonia, Chile.

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59.  

Magellanic penguins on the beach. Many are juveniles waiting for their juvenile coat to moult, revealing their adult plumage. They can't enter the water during the moulting stage; they just stand there for a week or so. Near Punta Arenas, Patagonia, Chile.

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60.  

Magellanic penguin moulting, losing its juvenile coat.

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61.  

Magellanic penguin. Near Punta Arenas, Patagonia, Chile.

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62.  

Pair of Magellanic penguins. They mate for lfe and share the upbringing of their chicks.

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63.  

This hare was living among the penguins.

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64.  

'Time for a new mattress?' Magellanic penguin, Patagonia, near Punta Arenas, Chile.

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65.  

Pair of Magellanic penguins. They mate for lfe and share the upbringing of their chicks.

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66.  

We saw several of these Magellanic penguins doing this and making a distinctive 'song'; sometimes alone, sometimes in groups.

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67.  

Fresh snow. Chilean fijords.

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68.  

More ice and snow in southern Chile.

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69.  

Rounding Cape Horn. The fairly rough, rapidly changing weather made this a memorable cruise-ship experience.

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70.  

Rounding Cape Horn. The gale-force wind was strong enough to whip the spray from the tops of the waves causing this 'rainbow' as we looked down towards the sea from our balcony.

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71.  

Cape Horn itself. The sculpture on the left shows an albatross, one wing down and one up, as the centre cut-out. The buildings on the right are for the lighthouse-keeper and his family. Our captain spoke to the lighthouse keeper, on the radio, as we went past.

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72.  

Moody Cape Horn number 1.

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73.  

Moody Cape Horn number 2.

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74.  

Peat bog, Patagonia, Argentina. Seen as we tramped through a valley near Ushuaia. The dead trees are due to beaver activity. Beavers were introduced for their fur and have become a destructive pest.

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75.  

Peat bog, Patagonia, Argentina. Seen as we tramped through a valley near Ushuaia. The dead trees are due to beaver activity. Beavers were introduced for their fur and have become a destructive pest.

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76.  

Peat bog, Patagonia, Argentina. Seen as we tramped through a valley near Ushuaia.

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77.  

The water is a beaver pond. The bank running across the lower part of the photo is the beaver dam, now abandoned. We got very wet on this hike but several people (sometimes those who didn't venture outside!) told us 'no rain; no rainbow'. In its various guises, this sentiment seemed to be the mantra for the region.

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78.  

Our hiking party in the big Wellington boots provided. Boots were essential for the peat bog we traversed, in the rain, but are not a usual part of the luggage taken on a luxury cruise.

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79.  

Patagonia; seen on our hike near Ushuaia, Argentina.

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80.  

Our guide for the hike in Patagonia near Ushuiai, Argentina.

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81.  

An albatross checking out the ship en route to the Falkland Is.

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82.  

An albatross checking out the ship en route to the Falkland Is.

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83.  

Sunset over the South Atlantic Ocean.

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84.  

Rheas near Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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85.  

Historic Mercedes bus parked in the car park of the visitors' centre near Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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86.  

Sea lions on the beach near Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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87.  

Sea lion family near Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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88.  

Sea lion apparently teaching her pups to swim. Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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89.  

Seagull checking out the sea lions, much on one sea lion's disapproval. Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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90.  

Portrait of a young penguin. Magellanic penguin colony, Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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91.  

Magellanic penguin with just a tuft of fluff left after moulting. Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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92.  

Moulting Magellanic penguin. Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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93.  

The young Magellanic penguin, on the left, is still moulting. It is probably asking the adult for food, which is not forthcoming. Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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94.  

Adult Magellanic penguin on a mission. Maybe headed out to sea to feed. Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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95.  

Juvenile Magellanic penguins congregate on the beach waiting for their moult to finish. The six penguins in the foreground no doubt are adults headed for the sea and food. Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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96.  

Penguin parent, on the left, seems a bit bored by junior's persistent cries for food. Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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97.  

Magellanic penguins mate for life. Here they seem to be grooming each other. Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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98.  

Moulting Magellanic penguin chick. Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

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99.  

Seven Seas Mariner left Puerto Madryn with a strong wind blowing against the side of the ship. The concrete structure here is part of the mooring arrangements for larger ships here; the Mariner, had been tied up there as a kind of extension of the pier. During the departure manouvers, though, the ship began to move back towards the mooring structure, presumably blown by the wind. All of us watching the departure saw the ship getting closer to the concrete and then hitting it. The concrete penetrated the ship before the captain regained control and the ship moved away. This picture is taken as the the ship moves away. The dark patches on the edge of the concrete platform are where concrete has been chipped away by the impact. Dust and ripples from debris falling into the sea can be seen. We later learned that the impact had broken glass and a window frame in the dining room but that the ship was still seaworthy and we continued on our way.

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100.  

Taken soon after the collision seen in the previous shot. It shows a quiet time at sea on board Seven Seas Mariner in the South Atlantic, en route from Puerto Madryn, Argentina, to Montevideo, Uruguay.

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101.  

Entrance to the main formal dining room, Compass Rose, in Seven Seas Mariner. We ate dinner there most nights, and sometimes lunch.

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102.  

The multi-storey atrium that anchors many of the public areas of the Seven Seas Mariner.

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103.  

Local market, Montevideo.

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104.  

Colonial Spanish architecture, Montevideo, Uruguay.

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105.  

The arty district in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is near the dock area and the varied colours are a tradition dating from when dock workers brought home 'left-over' paint from the docks to paint their houses.

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106.  

The arty district in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is near the dock area and the varied colours are a tradition dating from when dock workers brought home 'left-over' paint from the docks to paint their houses..

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107.  

Home again. Magic the cat on our rug.

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