Argentina and Antarctica 2008/2009:
Day 11 - Rio Grande


Bundlings.com: [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Rett Syndrome] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Antarctica 2008: [Day 1 - Buenos Aires] [Day 2 - Uruguay] [Day 3 - Ushuaia] [Day 4 - Drake Passage] [Day 5 - South Shetland Islands] [Day 6 - Antarctica] [Day 7 - Antarctic Peninsula] [Day 8 - Antarctic Sound] [Day 9 - Drake Passage] [Day 10 - Cape Horn] [Day 11 - Ushuaia] [Day 12 - Iguaçu] [Day 13 - Iguazú]

Wednesday, January 7: We had been warned the night before that the Ushuaia airport was closed due to a broken radar system, and that if it wasn't fixed in time, we'd have to drive three hours north to catch our charter flight in Rio Grande instead. We awoke at 5:00 AM to find that this was, indeed, the plan, as the airport was still closed. We made it into Ushuaia at 6:00 AM where we found the National Geographic Endeavour ...
... and the Quark Expeditions Clipper Adventurer docked alongside us.
Ushuaia was sunny and beautiful, with a very quiet runway on the airport peninsula.
Around 7:00 AM, all of the charter buses had arrived and we all disembarked the ship. Goodbye, beloved Fram of Narvik!
If you're going to be stuck in Ushuaia with several hours to kill, this was a nice, sunny day to do it, but we had places to go.
Ushuaia bade us fairwell with a pretty little rainbow.
Goodbye, snow-topped Chilean peaks!
Turns out we had a very scenic drive ahead of us.
Know what these mountains are? Part of the Andes mountain range. And we're going to cross it!
We passed more land that has been decimated by the unchecked beaver population ...
... and more land that may be turned into peat moss someday.
We passed Lake Escondido. Originally, some of us had booked an optional excursion to Lake Escondido before flying back to Buenos Aires, but they had been forced to cancel this trip due to the airport problems. We ended up seeing it anyway for free -- here it is.
Halfway through the trip, we descended on a panaderia in the small town of Tolhuín for coffee, pastries, and a bathroom break. The line for the restrooms was prohibitive, but we braved the chaos to buy a couple of pastries and empanadas.
Right next to where the buses were parked was this tiny shrine to Eva Peron.
Mmmm ... empanadas. A jamón y queso empanada has a surprisingly mushy interior because the ham and cheese is shredded and mixed together. Tasty but odd.
After we emerged from the mountains, the rest of the scenery was very flat. We passed these cows who will someday become one of the bife steaks for which Argentina is famous.
We started to spot guanacos on the hills and on the prairies.
Here's the best shot we got of one. They're like small llamas.
Many of the trees we passed were covered with mosses.
As we got closer to Rio Grande, we started to drive along the ocean.
That's the Atlantic right there. Lucky cows. Well, except for the endless cold weather.
We crossed the Rio Grande (quite a bit smaller than the American one) which signaled that we were close to our destination.
There it was -- the world's tiniest airport, AKA, our fabulous backup plan.
We spent quite a while in the coffee shop since there were two charter flights and we were on the second one. There is no photographic evidence of these two hours of our life.
When it was our turn to leave, we got a shot of this Aerolineas Argentinas plane even though our charter was on LAN. We'd be flying Aerolineas Argentinas the next day, though.
Back in Buenos Aires, we departed Aeroparque (also known as Jorge Newbery Airport), which is situated right on the river delta.
We don't know what this building was, but we passed it four times and it was pretty.
We passed a section of the waterfront just covered with Maersk containers of all sizes and styles.
We also passed a section of tiny, stacked, ramshackle homes next to the freeway.
In less than a half hour, we found ourselves back home at the Panamericano Hotel again, where we checked in again for one more night.
The food on the ship had been, shall we say, less than satisfying, and our very first order of business was to get some McDonald's french fries as soon as possible.
Tom opted for Quarto de Libra (similar to a Quarter Pounder with Cheese) while Debbie had the McNífica (a cross between a Quarter Pounder and a Big Mac).
Later that evening, we went out to enjoy Buenos Aires at night. The Christmas tree sparkled with twinkling lights.
Businesses all around the Obelisk were lit up.
In the middle of the Obelisk park, we looked one direction at the traffic ...
... then the other.
In the warm summer night air, the Obelisk was a popular place. Police patrolled the area and we felt quite safe.

This is our last shot of the Obelisk, we promise.

Day 12 >


Antarctica 2008: [Day 1 - Buenos Aires] [Day 2 - Uruguay] [Day 3 - Ushuaia] [Day 4 - Drake Passage] [Day 5 - South Shetland Islands] [Day 6 - Antarctica] [Day 7 - Antarctic Peninsula] [Day 8 - Antarctic Sound] [Day 9 - Drake Passage] [Day 10 - Cape Horn] [Day 11 - Ushuaia] [Day 12 - Iguaçu] [Day 13 - Iguazú]

Bundlings.com: [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Rett Syndrome] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy