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February 26, 2007

it's almost time

Are we ever gonna get back to California
Are we ever gonna get back to California again?
Are we ever gonna get back to California
Are we ever gonna get back to California again?

say hi to your mom, "the showdown in goattown", from their album "Discosadness"

it's been just about a year on the road since this long journey began, and so far i've made it through six continents (only antarctica remains), 39 countries, and walked a hell of a lot of miles in my Pumas.

and it's been one of the best experiences (and years) of my life.

but i'm feeling that it's time for a change... no more living out of a backpack every day, dealing with dormmates loudly bursting in at 5am, dealing with a new language every few weeks, and all the rest of it. (on the flip side, that means not waking up every morning to a day of nearly-guaranteed new experiences.)

so i have one last grand adventure ahead of me on this trip, namely my visit to Antarctica, and then a gradual path northwards via Argentina and Guatemala over the next 6 weeks or so as i head back to a warm, welcoming bed in Los Angeles. and from there? after resting up, it's time to start travelling across the united states as i figure out what i'm going to do next and where i'm going to live!

this has all been laid out in my trip's itinerary for some time, but while i've been approaching the pre-planned trip end date (April 12), i've also recently started feeling quite strongly that it's almost time to head home and start living a life in one city again. it's a good feeling... like something inside me is waking up and realizing it's almost time to begin migrating north at last towards Home.

antarctica is a GO

i arrived here in ushuaia ("the city at the end of the world!") yesterday morning at 7:30am, bleary-eyed from my 5:30am flight from buenos aires and the sleepless night i had walking around the streets (and restaurants) of the city killing time until i was ready to head to the airport. good thing i waited in the city of buenos aires, because buenos aires airport has very little to offer the bored traveller at 2am. (i'd arrived in BA from rio at around 8pm, so i had about 8 hours to kill before my connecting flight to ushuaia).

after stumbling out the front door of my hostel (the aptly named FreeStyle hostel, which is suprisingly well-kept for a hostel and a great place to stay) yesterday afternoon after a brief nap, it turns out that located exactly across the street from the front door of the hostel was the travel agent recommended to me a month ago by some backpackers who had booked their trip to antarctica through them (they give you free rental of all the extra weatherproof gear you need to get in antarctica, which is a great savings).

since i'd been determined to not pre-plan my antarctic journey, and just show up in ushuaia and try to hop on a discounted last-minute fare for a ship leaving soon, i was a little nervous about whether or not i'd actually make it on a ship. but travelling solo means that i don't have to answer to anyone else when things don't work out, and i love just winging it and seeing what happens.

so i headed inside of the travel agency and after a brief chat, i left with a list of 5 ships with available berths going on tours of Antarctica within the next week that i could book through them. after lots of diligent online research, i finally ended up deciding to go with a ship run by the antarctic firm that had been recommended to me already by several people -- Quark Expeditions. i'm headed out on March 2nd on the Lyubov Orlova (my favorite feature: "There is a well stocked bar on board, staffed by a professional bartender, in the late morning, afternoon and evening.") for a 12-day trip down to the Antarctic Peninsula. i just picked up the confirmation papers and pre-trip documentation today, so it is definitely on!

i have no idea what i'll do for the next several days here while i wait to leave for antarctica -- but since there are a ton of nature-related things to do around here, i'm sure i won't be left without anything to do. and MAN, am i ever excited to visit the seventh (and final) continent of our planet and my trip.

March 1, 2007

...and we're off!

as i mentioned in my last blog post, i'm starting tomorrow morning on my great antarctic adventure!

the ship doesn't actually leave until the evening, so we meet in the morning to go on a tour of the Tierra del Fuego National Park and have an Argentine-style asado (barbeque) lunch, eventually boarding the vessel around 4-5pm.

and then it's off for 11 days of adventure, lectures, food, drink, hopefully lots of zodiac landings, icebergs, and penguins! once i return, photos and backdated blog entries to follow as quickly as i can get them written and posted! (there is no internet access on the ship)

have a great few weeks, and i'll talk to ya'll when i return! oh, and happy first day of the international polar year!

About Argentina

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to gone living in the Argentina category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Antarctica is the previous category.

Australia is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.