Sunday, 28 December 2008

Off to Antarctica Day -1 and Day 1


Not many silver haired people get the chance to take a year out to travel and to reassess the balance between work and life outside work. Life has forced this opportunity upon us and so we start a year or more devoted to a lot of travel (with other things in between) with a trip to Buenos Aires and then Antarctica.

The plan is to fly to Buenos Aires, have a few days there and then fly down to Ushuaia and then sail south inside the Antarctic Circle. Hopefully when there (after a guaranteed period of extreme sea sickness), we shall be able to see lots of wildlife, and walk and camp on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Packing is one of the hardest parts. Weight is not a problem on the way to Buenos Aires (BA have a weight allowance of 23kgs plus hand luggage) but the flight down to Ushuaia has a weight limit of 15 kgs. We have been as sparing as possible and Pat has made many sacrifices by not taking things which have become essential to her over the past 34 years of marriage.


We both are amazed that when we were students, we travelled around the Middle East with only one rucksack between the two of us (and it was a small rucksack at that !). My essentials are a considerable amount of electronics (computer, video camera, camera, gps, etc) so we can record the trip and also because of my difficulty with reading, stories and music to keep me entertained on an mp3 player.

BA open their online check-in 24 hours before the flight and so by sitting at the computer, logged in and ready to go at exactly 2110 on the day before the flight, we have managed to get reasonable seats in one of the smaller cabins on a 747. Argentinean Immigration have a system which enables you to complete and print landing cards before you even leave the UK and this system also worked a dream. Whether it saves time on arrival, we shall see.

So now we are all packed and ready to go, waiting for the taxi to come to take us to the station to get the train and tube to Heathrow.

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