Stacy in Antarctica

An adventure to the frozen continent

Nov 1st – Goodbye Australia

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After all of the drama over the weekend I was happy to finally arrive at the airport and get onto a plane headed for Auckland. Mum and Dad dropped me off and I made my way to the Air New Zealand check in counter. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to check my bag through to Buenos Aires because the airlines had issues with people losing their luggage during the ash cloud last June. Therefore, I would have to retrieve my bags and check them in again in New Zealand, scuttling my plans of a quick trip into Auckland city for dinner before flying out again.

After dropping off my bag I walked around to the international departures gate, where I fell in behind a line of people stretching almost 20m back from the entrance. The casualties of a weekend with our national carrier grounded, no doubt. I have to say that I was pretty impressed with the organisation of the security, who were making sure that everyone knew where to go and what to do when arriving at the security check. Only a deaf person would be forgiven for not knowing to empty their pockets and to remove laptops and liquids from their bags.

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Back in South America.

Hello there readers!

Just a quick word to let you know that I am back from Antarctica now and am currently situated in the beautiful tropical jungle of Puerto Iguazu.

I will be updating soon about my trip but as a sneak peek I will let you know that Antarctica was amazing in ways that will take me some time to articulate. Don’t worry though, I have been keeping a fairly detailed journal so I will elaborate more in the coming days now that I have time to sit and write my experiences down.

I also have over 1,500 photos to filter through and post up on Flickr. I am sure you are keen to see snow-covered mountains, penguins, icebergs and a few other exciting activities I took part in. However, I believe 1,500 is a little excessive even for me to endure. I will ensure I get them up and have you crying out “no more icebergs!”* as soon as possible.

And just because you have been so patient, here’s one for the road… chinstrap penguins!

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*Is it really possible to see too many icebergs? I surely don’t believe so. Feel free to comment with “more icebergs!” at any time and I will gladly oblige.

Updated plans.

Your Flight QF416 has been cancelled, please call Qantas on 1300 659 116

Picture this,

You’ve been on hold with Qantas for 2 hours and your arm is getting tired. You can’t use the speaker phone because for some reason Qantas’ hold music is too soft to hear through it. You haven’t been sitting idle during this time, you have been frantically searching the web for alternate flights within the next 48 hours. You find flights on Expedia for Nov 1st and decide to book. Expedia refuses to let you pay for the tickets because the flight departs within 48 hours. You almost lose it for a moment.

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Industrial action.

As of 5pm today Qantas have grounded all flights until further notice in response to industrial action by some transport unions. With 36 hours remaining until my flight to Buenos Aires I honestly don’t know right now if I will be flying there on Monday morning.

I’m very glad right now that I planned to spend a week in Buenos Aries before my cruise. I decided to do this because of the issues with the Chile volcano ash cloud earlier in the year (which appears to still be a potential risk), that cancelled flights throughout both South America and Australia.

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Planning stages.

Planning for a trip to Antarctica is serious business. Especially since there are no gift shops on the continent and no turning back for another pair of socks. This has been exacerbated by the fact that I have just returned from two years living overseas (in the desert no less) and essentially have to start from scratch. One concern I have with this trip is that I hate being cold. I can think of nothing worse than being in the snow but feeling too cold and miserable to enjoy it. Therefore, I spared no expense ensuring that I have the right clothing for the job. It was also essential for me to have good camera gear with more than enough memory and charge because I intend to take an absurd amount of photos of icebergs and penguins and whatever else I find. Anther important consideration was sea sickness medication as the trip crosses notoriously rough waters and while I don’t normally get motion sickness, the only boat trip I have been on before crossed the Bass Strait so I won’t be risking it. Instead I visited my GP and politely asked for something that will definitely do the job if the need arises.

So here is a bit of a run down on what I’m taking with me,

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A new adventure to end 2011.

Even though my adventures in Saudi Arabia have come to an end that doesn’t mean that I’m back to the daily grind. Instead, I have been spending the past six weeks planning for my next big adventure, which I hope to be equally as extreme but not quite as lengthy as my last one. As the name states, this time I will be heading to the one place in the world I have always wanted to go, but never thought I’d make, Antarctica.

To begin with, I will give a little bit of a run down on how I am getting there for those who are interested.

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