"" Writer's Wanderings: Goodbye Antarctica - Hello Civilization, Almost

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Goodbye Antarctica - Hello Civilization, Almost

The Robbins Expedition Team that traveled to the Antarctic included my husband's twin (you aren't seeing double), his wife and my mother-in-law. You can notice in the picture not only the red parkas we received from the trip but also those infamous inflatable life jackets worn on the zodiacs.

After our stop in Half Moon Bay, the ship set course for the Drake Passage and once again we anticipated rough seas. We were again delighted to weather the crossing without much trouble and even caught a glimpse of Cape Horn before heading into the Beagle Channel and docking at Ushuaia.

Our flight back to Buenos Aires was not planned for another day which gave us time to explore the area around Ushuaia which is part of the Patagonia area known for its beauty. And beautiful it was. The park we visited abounded in spectacular scenery with snow capped mountains in the distance. It was also overrun by rabbits that had been introduced into the area perhaps a century before and had overpopulated. The guide said something about not knowing what they were going to do with so many. Hmmm. I would have suggested rabbit stew.

On a cruise of the harbor and Beagle Channel, we saw a large group of seals and sea lions. Penguins had invaded a beach area. These were Magellan penguins. Added to all the others, I think we had seen four different kinds of penguins over the course of the trip.

Our flight back to Buenos Aires was again aboard a 747 but this time we were only in first class, not the upper class-upper deck elite. . .well, you get the picture.

There are still many cruise ships that venture down to the Antarctic peninsula in the month of January but I don't believe there are many who stop as we did to enjoy the penguins. It is my understanding that the countries who care for the preservation of the natural resources of Antarctica are trying not to let tourism interfere with the pristine condition of the area. We humans leave a big imprint everywhere we go--especially when so many don't take the precautions to leave things as they find them.

If you are truly interested in an "expedition" such as ours, do some research on the web. You are sure to find something that suits your budget and dream. Although a warm fireside chair with a HD TV showing Frozen Planet isn't bad either. At least you can't smell the guano.

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