Monday, December 21, 2009

Amazon Adventure Day 30– Sea Day

Amazon Adventure Day 30– Sea Day

This morning was cold and cloudy when we got up. As we have sailed north the weather has changed quite a bit. We have gone from the 90’s to the 60’s and tomorrow it will be only 45F in Fort Lauderdale. While it feels like time to head home I am not looking forward to the deep freeze of a Calgary winter. The getting up at 5:20 Am in the dark to catch the train to work, the standing on the train platform as the North wind howls down Crowchild Trail is just not very appealing.

This has really been quite a trip. In a lot of ways it was a real eye opener. The Amazon was a lot bigger than I expected, and a lot muddier. The towns along the way were a lot bigger and busier than I had expected. However I was glad to see that the rain forest has not been totally cut down.

Holland America did a great job of taking the ship up the Amazon. They did a great job with the meals, the entertainment and providing a great value. Having said that the Prinsendam is now 21 years old and she is showing her age. Carpets need replacement, elevators are slow and are often out of service, the automatic doors in the Lido are temperamental, and the air conditioning is suspect as sometimes it is boiling hot in one room and the next time it is freezing. At 38,000 tons the Prinsendam is a small ship by today’s standard. So it gives a much different feel than the large ships. In some ways more intimate and in others cramped.

The other thing I have forgotten to talk about is the malaria thing. I had been expecting mosquitoes the like of which would put Northern Alberta to shame. It was the end of the dry season so there were lots of weird bugs but no mosquitoes. We had been taking the malaria medicine Malarone. You start taking it a couple of days before hand and then for a week after you leave the malaria zone. It has an interesting side effect which is that you have very vivid dreams. So the last couple of weeks have been quite entertaining. Every night it has been everything from fighting giant bugs, to attending high level world conferences.

Tomorrow we dock in Fort Lauderdale and catch a plane home. Then it gets busy, putting up Christmas trees, and getting ready for all that craziness.


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