Irregular Posts; HomeAgain

Saturday, Jan 8, 2012; HeyBoysAndGirls, We are home and doing the catch up home stuff that was undone for 25 days.  Leaving Buenas Aires was a trip!  The flight to BA from Iguassu Falls was not a problem especially since the welcoming weather was 85 with a stiff breeze off the river.  That was great after the high humidity and high 90s of the days in Brazil.  Saturday morning, we repacked the three bags for the return to the USA.  One “cold” bag was to be checked and the other two carry-ones were set.  Saturday was spent walking around some accessible parts of the city that we had not been to; Puerto Madiero, San Telmo, and other previously visited venues. Our taxi to the airport was set for 8PM for our midnight flight.  Easy time for the short 20 km drive.  HOlycRAP the lines of people waiting to check in!!!  Was everyone in the city heading out of the country at midnight??!  End of the holidays?  After about 30 minutes in one unmoving line, a “helpful” employee suggested that we might try the automatic check in kiosk, even though we had a bag to check.  OK.  Done!  Then we joined another longslowline to “drop bags”.  Some groups/families had TONS of BAGS, and a few had the family dog in a large crate!!  Finally, we leave our one bag and head off with our two backpacks…..to the amazing set of passport control lines.  People are late for planes and are panicking.  Some folks let them cut the line.  How about airport security lines?  The same pluggedtrafficjam!  It wasn’t that anyone...

Irregular Posts; Iguassu Falls

Thursday, Jan 6, 2012; HeyHotDays, Travel days are sometimes tiring and frustrating.  That is not to say the return across the Drake was frustrating.  It was the usual pitching and rolling but this time not as bad as the previous passage.  Only a few times were people thrown from their dinner table chairs.  Much laughter and no one injured.  You have to remember to keep your feet OUTSIDE of the chair legs.  And always hold the table with a free hand.  A roll of 15 degrees was not unheard of, but it was the unpredictable timing of the rolling that was the problem. We disembarked the ship in Ushuaia after breakfast on Tuesday, Jan 3rd.  Transfer to the tiny airport for 5 hour wait.  Free WiFi but SLOW and intermittent so any posting was not happening.  We landed Buenas Aires late afternoon and had a good supper at local San Telmo neighborhood establishment.  Now we selectively repacked for a short 3 day visit to the “tropics”.  Two bags left behind.   It was to be in the mid-90s and humid in Iguassu Falls, Brazil and Argentina. Five of us on the Antarctica trip had booked the extension trip to Iguassu Falls.  It was much cheaper as an extension than doing it on your own.  Border crossing should be easier as well.  Todd from Toronto, Canada did not have the $140 visa for Brazil so he would have to hotel 2 nights and tour only on the Argentina side of the park.  A Melbourne couple, Walter and Veronica, and Meg and I would hotel two nights in Brazil and visit both...

Irregular Posts; Buenas Aires to Ushuaia

Wednesday, Dec 21 2011; Felices Fiestas y Solstice, From the plane window I could see only blue water of the South Atlantic below the wing and a curve of cloud way out on the eastern horizon.  It was a 3 1/2 hour trip for the 3000 km from BA to Ushuaia.  Then into a bumpy cloud bank we flew.  It was a bit bouncy for a few minutes and then we began to see thinnings in the clouds.  All of a sudden jagged rock peaks, streaks of snow and ice in valleys and depressions appeared.  Valleys of rock and gray rivers twisted between the mountains in the range.  Then the gray Beagle Channel that separated two long ragged ranges appeared. The city of Ushuaia spread out along the shores and up the slopes toward the mountains.  It was surprisingly spread out.  It is the capital of the province of Terra Del Fuego.  We banked into a turn to line up with the single runway that ran the center of an island in the Channel.  Smooth and on the line we landed.  Some folks applauded the Captain.  Still a bit exciting knowing that a few hundred yards to either side and we’d be in the cold water. In the baggage area they checked for contraband fruit and vegetables.  Folks lined up at the only baggage claim conveyor.  An Official stood on the conveyor and announced in Spanish that unfortunately not all the baggage had been loaded back in Buenas Aires.  It would be delivered to your address after the next flight (tomorrow).  It is good that we had checked in...

Irregular Posts; Colonia to Buenas Aires

Monday Dec 19 2011, Hola que tal? Bright and warm this morning in Colonia.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Last night Orion was on the horizon as we headed up to our room at the hostel.   At breakfast we shared a table with two guys who were bicycling about.  These mid thirty year old guys, Luke and James, had met at a marathon near Mendoza, Argentina.  They decided to bike together in Argentina and Uruguay. James was originally from Atlanta, Georgia but had been living in San Paulo Brazil for ten years.  He no longer had an Atlanta accent; it had become Brazilianized.  Luke was from Belgium and spoke unaccented English.  I had met Luke Sunday PM as he was trying to peel a potato with a broken peeler.  “Just wash the skin.”  They had finished an easy 30 km ride.  Today they were off to Montevideo for the holiday.  “Visiting with some guys we met at the marathon in Mendoza.”  After that they would go their separate ways.  James back to work and Luke to continue his 4 month travel. An older lady from Seward, Alaska joined us.  Turns out she was originally from Peabody Massachusetts and had been in Seward for 25 years.  Now she was a safety officer at a fish plant.  Two months unemployed in winter so she travels.  She was biking a bit and then would join a friend for a Holland America cruise from Buenas Aires to the Antarctica waters for a week or so.  They do not land as the ship is much too big and there are a thousand people...