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Date: 02 Jun 2016 02:56:34
Title: Back to Williams

All in all the trip to the UK was a great success. I got to spend time with my daughters, my mother was totally surprised and very pleased that I and many of her grandchildren turned up at here surprise party in Jersey, and I got to collect 40kg of equipment for Caramor. 

My Daughters Lisa and Anna, and Yannick, my favourite son in law. St Brelade’s Bay, Jersey

The flight was of course a bit of an ordeal, London - Sao Paulo - Santiago - Punta Arenas. On the first two legs I watched a lot of films in Spanish to get back into the swing of things. On the last leg the pilot pointed out that the cloud had cleared and that we were flying over the Southern Icefields and the Fitzroy group of mountains. It was a truly breathtaking sight.

The Southern Icefields and the Ftzroy Group

I checked in at the Samarce House hostel. Samuel and Marcela made me feel welcome as only they know how. The next day I smartened myself up at the barbers, made a few last minute purchases and then put my gear on the ferry. I had made a reservation but  could only pay for the ticket at the ferry terminal. The girl behind the counter confirmed that I had a reservation which can only be made for the more expensive fully-reclining seats but that if I wanted she could downgrade me to the cheaper semi-recliniing seats. I found this quite amusing as I have often found myself turning down the offer of an upgrade to first class but never been offered a downgrade before! Maybe my attempt at smartening myself up wasn’t a complete success.

The ferry set off not long after dark. All the meals are provided. They are fairly basic but keep body and soul together. The ‘Yaghan' takes about 30 hours to get to Puerto Williams, and during the day I spent my time taking in the great views and striking up conversations with some of the other passengers. We were lucky in that we cruised through the ‘Glacier section of the Beagle Channel’ during daylight with a brief stop when the crew picked up a chunk of glacier ice for the captain’s whisky.

Some of my Spanish conversation class teachers

Glacier in the Beagle Channel

At midnight we finally arrived at Puerto Williams, where Kath was waiting to help me carry Caramor’s prezzies to the ‘transfer’ minibus which delivered us to the Micalvi Marina. Now, a lot of men fantasize about a ‘ménage à trois’, but in my experience, coping with the competing affection of a boat and a girlfriend is hard enough. “So, who are you most pleased to see? Caramor or me?” Kath could have asked me that question before we got back within Caramor’s hearing!



 

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