Sorry to keep you hanging on my “trick question”.
My best guess:
Four major “official” languages spoken on the two Continents, English, Spanish and Portuguese French is spoken in Quebec, Canada.
Of course there are at least 17 dialects of Spanish spoken in the Americas. I have no clue how many dialects of English and Portuguese are spoken.
The indigenous languages are disappearing. One more twist, there are many smaller recognized “nations” of indigenous peoples in the Americas that are trying to save their languages (i.e. the American indians, etc…)
We have experienced a lot in the past week. Our sailing from Rio was stunning. And our visits to Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina have been extraordinary
The Star Princess, (largest cruise ship we have “sailed”), has 2695 passengers aboard. It took us a few days to get used to the size and amenities of this ship, which was recently refurbished (2011). It was built in Italy and finished is 2002.
Our Captain (Edwin Perrin) is young and very hospitable. He must be very skilled to command a ship of this size around Cape Horn. After reading Douglas Murphy’s book, Rounding the Horn, I am amazed at the modern technology and engineering of these ships. Not many get to experience a trip like this. We are fortunate indeed, and thankful.
As I write this, we are in Stanley, Falkland Ilands. Of course the “buzz” is of Prince William’s tour here as a pilot of a VH-3A helicopter. His mission is search and rescue.
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of a sighting or two of his majesty in a “copter”. I will take them with a grain of salt.
With two cruise ships in port and a total of nearly 6,000 passengers and crew on land today, the population of Stanley will triple.
You may be asking, “Where are the pictures?” The satellite internet bandwidth is limited. I am busy editing my shots as we travel. I have also run into a few technical difficulties along the way.
Stay tuned “film at 11:00”. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) Mark
No problem right? Well there is a little difference when you consider that we are below 50° S latitude.
The Falklands are not protected by any land mass. Wind is a major factor here. No trees to speak of (unless you count the few that managed to survive in Stanley and on a few ranches). I can say without reservation, that it was a “Chamber of Commerce” day in the Falklands. Little did we know that we would be penalized for being here. More on that later.
Our tour took us to “Sparrow Cove” which is located on a private sheep and cattle ranch. We were tendered ashore by a local company and transferred to a four wheel drive Land Rover. Our driver happened to be the daughter of the ranch owners.
The cross country trip was stunning. This ranch (approximately 10,000 acres) is hilly with outcroppings of granite. The highest point we passed I would guess to be 1500 feet. The ground was a mixture of sandy soil and moss. The predominant ground cover appeared to be a succulent with small segmented fingers. It may have been a variety of ice plant.
After the 45 minute ride, we arrived at the cove. Our chance to see the Gentoo Penguins in their natural environment. After a quick do’s and don’ts instruction from the rangers (the penguins are protected by local volunteers who are deputized rangers) we walked over the sandy hill.
The cove beach area was covered with young penguins. A thick rope lay on the ground that humans were not to cross. The young penguins, often ignored the rope and crossed over explore the “other” creatures who walk on two legs.
Many of the birds were molting and the sand was nearly white with down feathers. Some were sleeping. Some were hatching the few eggs left in nests. Others were gathering any twigs or bones to shore up their nests.
The Gentoo are small and it took us a while to recognize the new born from the “yearlings”. The rangers informed us that the adults were out swimming to catch the luchtime meal. We had an hour to experience this magnificent natural setting.
Not long enough on a beautiful day.
On our return to the tender, Sarah (the daughter of the ranch owners), answered our every question with grace as she drove the Land Rover back to the small dock. Her brother and his friend showed off on their motorcycles and she whispered out of the side of her mouth “…spoiled show off.” Ah, sibling rivalry on the Falkland Islands.
We enjoyed the rest of the day in Stanley….Off to Cape Horn….