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Argentina

An Evening in BA

In Search of the Penguins - Buenos Aires

sunny 27 °C
View In Search of the Penguins on kmmk17's travel map.


After 10 days on the MS Expedition, this morning it was all coming to an end. With an early start and breakfast, by 8am I had already said my goodbyes and headed on the coach back into Ushuaia. Dropping my bits off in the storage facility, I then went for another walk around the city, before waiting in the information centre using the free WiFi (which died once the bus load of Americans turned up) before finally heading to the airport.

Leaving the South

Leaving the South

At the airport I sent my baggage straight through to Montevideo for the following morning and headed into security and the departure lounge, where several others from the boat trip soon joined.

Having bought a drink for the plane, I was then ready to begin boarding, when all of a sudden I heard an announcement with my name. As the airport was small, there was no one to speak to in the departure lounge and so I realised I was going to have to head back down to the entrance. Great, what would happen to my drink? "It's ok" they said....hmm, they say that now....

Arriving at the help desk, I was then told I needed to go to the check in desks. Waiting again in the queue behind those who needed to check in their bags, I was still hearing my name being called over the tanoy despite being there and having to wait in a queue. Ridiculous. Eventually she dealt with me. Oh, she wanted my future flight plans once I reached Montevideo. Why? Urgh. Nevertheless I told her and was allowed to pass.

Now I had to go back through security. I had already checked in so I just walked past, but they still made me go through the scanners. I was ready for them to bin my drink, for which I was about to get riled up. However when attempting to take off my belt, they told me it was ok. Hmm...

Picking my bags back up they had let me take the drink though anyway, so it seemed fine. I headed back to the queue ready to finally board when I found I had now lost my phone. Great. Where had I left it?

Worrying I'd have to go back through security I headed back and found someone to finally talk to. However I then noticed the security people had it. In the panic to get through I'd left it behind on the belt. Proving it was mine, they let me have it back and not long after I finally boarded my flight.

Nevertheless, it was a pretty building

Nevertheless, it was a pretty building

Ready to fly off, some people had moved their seats around, and so swapping for the row behind so the Andorrans next to me could sit together I arrived three hours later in Buenos Aires.

Falklands Memorial at the Airport

Falklands Memorial at the Airport

After making my way through arrivals I bought a ticket for the bus into the city, and then waited outside the warm summer weather for it to make it through the traffic. Whilst waiting, Teeny from the trip walked past on her way to another bus, and with that my Antarctic trip had now truly come to an end.

Torre Monumental

Torre Monumental

Heading into the city I walked from Retiro towards my hotel, noticing how much different Buenos Aires felt compared to Rio, Brasilia and Ushuaia. Much more European, laid out in a grid form like Barcelona. Although not having had much interest in visiting Buenos Aires to begin with, having heard interesting things and having to transfer here twice anyway, I scheduled in a brief evening visit before I headed to Uruguay the following morning.

Walking around the city, the anti-British propaganda following the Falklands War thirty years earlier was immediately evident. However it seemed directed towards the British Government, as despite all this, there was not one moment I felt any hatred towards myself, despite clearly being British.

Tango

Tango

Leaving the hotel I headed down the main shopping street, past Tango dancers, towards Plaza de Mayo, and the Casa Rosada, the home of the Argentinian president.

Casa Rosada

Casa Rosada

I then carried on down Avenida de Mayo, crossing the huge Avenida 9 de Julio, towards Plaza del Congreso where the parliament is.

Parliament

Parliament


Avenida de 9 Julio

Avenida de 9 Julio

Heading back towards the hotel, I then made it to Avenida 9 de Julio itself. The avenue is the widest in the world, 20 lanes - 5 in each direction along the main avenue, 3 each in the parallel roads along the avenue, and 2 each in the bus lanes in the middle of the road. Whilst in the middle of the avenue is the icon of the city - the Obelisk on Plaza de la Republica. Originally I had planned to go to a local hotel to get a rooftop view of the avenue, however when I transferred here on my way south, we already got great views from the plane window, and so I decided this was unnecessary.

I then had a McDonald's overlooking the obelisk whilst waiting for it to get dark, before enjoying the area by night with the Obelisk lit up.

Obelisk by night

Obelisk by night

After walking back along the long avenue, I then stopped off in a supermarket to buy some bits for the following morning, before heading back to my hotel to finally sleep.

A very busy day with just one left to go...

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Argentina Tagged airport city parliament penguinhunt Comments (0)

The End of the World....?

In Search of the Penguins - Ushuaia

overcast 10 °C


Having made my way to the airport in Rio and transferred in Buenos Aires, where I would return in around 10 days time, I eventually made it to Ushuaia, at the bottom of Argentina for the real part of the holiday to begin.

Flying over Tierra del Fuego

Flying over Tierra del Fuego

Getting from the airport to the hotel was pretty quick as the city was rather small, yet it became immediately clear that 'summer' here was much more like a Scandinavian summer than it had been in Brazil.

After having met some new travel companions already, I settled in for the night after a long day of travelling, prepared for the new adventures ahead.

The following morning I left my suitcase in the lobby before having breakfast and enjoying views over the city from the hotel restaurant, perched on the top of a hill. With embarkation not until 4pm, I then headed off for my exploration of the city, beginning with a walk to a vantage point along a harbour road for views of the city with mountains in the background.

Then I headed towards the Plaza Islas Malvinas, where a big square had been converted into a memorial for the Falklands War thirty five years previously. Curiously (or not?) a man constantly sits in a box watching the square all day. Can't think why.....

Plaza Islas Malvinas

Plaza Islas Malvinas

Continuing, I made my way to the information centre, where I obtained a certificate for having reached the southernmost city in the world. However like most things Argentinian, this is debatable. The city of 70,000 is located on Tierra del Fuego, an island south of the continent itself; whilst there are also settlements on the southern (Chilean) side of the Beagle Channel such as Puerto Williams which are only classed as "towns" with populations of approximately 3,000.

At the End of the World sign

At the End of the World sign

Nevertheless I took the certificate anyway and continued towards past the harbour stopping at the End of the World sign and having views of the ship I would be boarding later on. The next stop was the End of the World museum, for some history on the city, before turning back and heading to the gift shops and supermarket eventually returning to the hotel to wait for the transfer at 3pm.

The ship

The ship

Enjoying my last drops of internet, we then all boarded the coach getting to know each other whilst we travelled, eventually making it to the port to board the ship. Getting a swipe on/off card, we had our photos taken and there we were - on board ready to set sail for Antarctica.

Entering Port

Entering Port

Having paid for my trip well in advance, I bagged the cheapest tickets for which I was required to share a Quad, and I soon met my travel companions - Cameron from the USA (who I had shared with the previous night), Gary from Canada and Bastian from Germany.

The Room

The Room


Staff Introductions

Staff Introductions

Not long after boarding we had an introduction with the staff of the ship in the lounge, which included the safety drill, testing our life jackets and even getting to sit in one of the covered lifeboats.

Safety Drill

Safety Drill


Goodbye to South America

Goodbye to South America

The ship then set sail and not long after we had our first dinner in the restaurant, where over views of the channel I got to know more people on the boat, which was made up of about 30% equally Americans, Brits and Australians, a with a handful of Canadians, and a scattering of others from Europe and Asia making up the rest of the numbers.

It quickly became clear that many people had the same ideas as me, booking this trip well in advance to secure the cheapest rooms! Isn't it always fun to meet people who have done the same thing?

Collecting my nice thick parka coat that would keep me warm for the duration of the trip, I then settled in for the night before tomorrow's rough crossing of the Drake Passage.

A great start to an unforgettable adventure.

Tips

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Argentina Tagged mountains boat scenery war penguinhunt antarcticcruise Comments (0)

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