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Boarding the Via Australis
Patagonian Paradise

Exploring ChileExploring Chile (Kristen Kidder)
Our plane lands in Ushuaia at 9:30am, and Cory and I head immediately to the Cruceros Australis office for check-in. The process was relatively seamless and was finished well before noon giving us a wide expanse of day to fill before boarding begins at 5pm. Cory and I are not much for souvenirs, but we dutifully walked the city's main streets, popping in and out of tourist centers, killing time. Later, as we wandered around the waterfront, I wondered just what it would take for us to become the sort of people who nap on benches in foreign countries. . . because after two days of travelling on approximately six hours of sleep, I was getting the feeling that we were about to find out. In a last ditch effort to stay awake we find a quaint little restaurant, far from the main drag and filled entirely with non-English speaking locals.
It's the perfect opportunity to dust off our Spanish, and after we finish our lovely lunch we head down to the pier to await boarding. Needless to say, we are the first people on the boat. Naptime here we come!

Neither Cory nor I have ever been on a cruise before, and we are a bit unsure of the etiquette. In an attempt to maximize our down time, we are a bit late to dinner and everyone is already seated when we arrive. Unfortunately we discover that our assigned table - full of English speakers of varying ages and backgrounds - is full and we are instead seated at a table of Germans, each of whom knows English and is approximately our age. At first we are disappointed by the mistake and feel badly that our presence basically forces our dining companions to be bilingual during meals, but it doesn't take long to see the benefit of the arraignment. Our conversations are lively as we compare travel notes and international experiences. It's tempting to linger over espresso that first night, but Cory and I head back to our cabin shortly after dessert. We are scheduled to land at Cape Horn in the morning, and we need to catch up on some sleep.

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