DH and I have just returned from a cruise – Montevideo to Valparaiso, Chile via Puerto Madryn, The Falkland Islands, around Cape Horn, through the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia and the Chilean fjords, Chacobuco and Perto Montt. Cruising was a new experience for us and we enjoyed much of the huge variety of facilities and entertainments on offer in the floating resort hotel; there were about 15 restaurants, a library, casino, several nightclubs, gymnasium, pools and jacuzzis. We attended several informative lectures, some beaut variety shows and dropped a few $$ in the slots and at bingo. We were totally able to resist the constant spending opportunities and specials in the duty free shops you had to walk through/past to get from one part of the ship to another, and the constant reminders that if we booked our next cruise while on board we would have another $100 to spend onboard that day… We did a couple of excellent shore excursions (penguin rookery from Puerto Madryn and Train at The End of The World out of Ushuaia) but at the other ports we explored under our own steam. At such times I always keep my eyes peeled for interesting textiles. I no longer hurtle around looking for fabric shops, though if we do come across one I go in and do a reccy; however on this trip we didn’t encounter any in our wanderings. A couple of places there were interesting markets but there we found no fine really ususual textiles. Perhaps I am spoiled, the textiles everywhere in Peru were so great and I did bring some nice things back from there 🙂 and several years ago I bought a marvellous wool ruana in Santiago; so anyway this time the textile notes are just these cute little folded towel animals that appeared, a new one every day, on the end of our bed after the maid had been in. I never thought to ask her so I don’t know if they were a last minute flourish she put together after making up the room, or whether she brought them in pre-folded. We didn’t see any on the carts we passed in the gangway either. On one of the daily events/ info bulletins there was offered a handicrafts class in napkin folding to attend the next day (but I couldn’t go – it clashed with bingo) and now I wonder if graduates of that class go on to advanced folded cloth animals….
Anyway the awesome geology, spectacular scenery, interesting history and culture we experienced more than make up for the lack of a stunning textile find on this particular trip. I have put up some photos on a non-public album site, but if you are particularly interested you can email me and I will send the link to that.