Happy Thanksgiving!

Buenos Aires-Where I live, in northern California, it’s almost winter. The trees are ablaze with fall colors, and there’s a cool snap in the air. But here in B.A, of course, it’s almost summer, and amid all the green, the jacaranda trees color both the branches and ground below them with bright purple blossoms.

Avenida 9 de Julio– the widest street in the world, with seven lanes in each direction plus a parkway.

The mediodia temperatures are in the 80s. Walking the streets, we feel the occasional drop of water on our head and shoulders. That’s because Buenos Aires has so many individual air conditioners, and fewer central systems.

We said goodbye to the ms Veendam yesterday. Disembarcation was smooth, although the taxi line was a little hectic. Can’t blame Holland-America for that, of course.

Like many others from the cruise, I chose to overnight, collect my thoughts, and repack my bag at the Sheraton Libertador – one of five Sheratons in B.A. It’s a decent hotel, although my room lacked few things I would rather have had – among them, a face cloth, a bath mat, and a bathroom floor that wasn’t so dangerously slippery. I guess the Veendam has spoiled us in its role as a floating resort whose management has thought of about everything.

One of many jacaranda trees in Buenos Aires.

Thinking about the past fortnight, I remember that each day seemed to bring a new adventure. Penguins here, a Pinnicle meal there. It wasn’t perfect – nothing ever is – but it came close and reaffirmed my judgment formed from many other cruises that Holland-America is a friendly organization which also does a damn fine job of taking care of its cruisers.

Luckily I have visited B.A. before, so I was not in a hurry to sightsee. My head cold continues, and I am concentrating on fighting that. Beginning tonight, there is the long journey home. In line with that I had to shop for some strong cough medicine.

The Sheraton Libertader, a popular hotel in Buenos Aires.

Robitussin, my preference, doesn’t exist in Argentina, according to the farmacia down the street. I settled for something called Bisolvon. Although apparently unknown in the U.S., there is quite a bit about it in on the internet since it’s sold in some other English-speaking countries.

Now if only American Airlines will perform as advertised. I’m a little chary after my experience flying from Dallas to Santiago, described at the beginning of this blog. I think I’ll pause here and let you know how things progress while in route over the next 24 hours…..

….Later: It’s November 22 – Thanksgiving Day. And I’m home in Walnut Creek, near San Francisco, all in one piece, with my best South America memories intact. That’s partly thanks to AA, or more specifically to “Shelly,” an observant and kind-hearted flight attendant.

Shelly understood how high-altitude flying can aggravate a respiratory malady. She did her best to make me comfortable on the long flight home. Just as did the Veendam for the exciting two weeks around the bottom of South America.

Photos by Robert Bone

November 24, 2012

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