Stacy in Antarctica

An adventure to the frozen continent

Monthly Archives: December 2011

Nov 9th – Beagle Channel

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At 7:30am I was woken to the soothing tones of Boris, our Expedition Leader, over the PA speaker.

“Good morning Akademik Ioffe,
It is now seven thirty am, on Tuesday, the 9th of November.
The weather is fine in Ushuaia, it is six degrees outside, wind speed at around ten knots.
Today we plan to sail the Beagle Channel. We will also have a number of presentations from our expedition members that we will keep you informed of throughout the day.
Breakfast will be at eight am in the dining room. We hope to see you there.
Good morning.”

Due to our southern location on the earth, the sun had already been up for a few hours and the clouds were slowly lifting off the mountain tops. I jumped out of bed, full of excitement for the new day and the lingering answer to our itinerary problems. I began working my way into the neat piles of thermal clothing I had unpacked into my cabin closet, a sense of order that would not last.

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Nov 8th – Ushuaia

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When my alarm went off at 1:30am I felt like I had barely closed my eyes. I dragged myself out of bed, showered and dressed in clothing appropriate for my winter expedition. I packed up my bags yet again and made my way down to reception to check out. A few people were already present in the foyer, all of whom I correctly assumed were part of our small group of 10 who were catching the 4:30am flight, because really, who else in their right mind would be up and checking out of a hotel room at such an ungodly hour?

United in our sleepiness and sense of adventure, we introduced ourselves and made small talk until one of the young men on reception asked us if we were the ones waiting for the transfer and pointed out that the van was already waiting at the entrance. We shrugged off our surprise at the clearly obvious answer to his question and loaded our luggage and ourselves into the van. As we prepared to leave our driver had the sense to perform a head count and came up two short. In the meantime, two other women had appeared in the lobby and were uncertain of where their group was until casually asked by the receptionist “Are you part of the group that is outside in the van?”

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Nov 7th – Changing Rooms

The day that I was waiting for had finally come. Today I packed up my things and left Giorgio’s House for my new hotel, the Eurobuilding, located much closer to the city center near Lima station. I wheeled my already heavy suitcase over the broken sidewalk to the corner and hailed a taxi. It was only noon when I arrived at the hotel, three hours too early for check in, so I left my luggage with reception and walked down Avenida de Mayo to find lunch. I found a restaurant to sit down and eat and looked through the packed of information relating to my tour given to me by the hotel receptionist, while I ate a horrible interpretation of ravioli with bolognese sauce (really, really horrible).

I already knew my flight the next morning was at 4:30am but I hadn’t thought to extrapolate that information to the fact that I would require a hotel pick up at 2:30am. Just to add salt to the wound there was an additional flyer listing optional city tours one could request through the tour operator. Not exactly useful for a 12 hour stay in a hotel. Armed with this knowledge I decided that my evening’s entertainment would include a decent meal (to make up for the awful lunch choice) and an early bed.

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