Hello from Argentina! We are half-way through our 30 hour journey from London to Ushuaia (the southernmost town in the world) from which we will set sail for Antarctica. It is a beautiful sunny summer’s day and the light is reflecting off the water beside us. We are sitting beside the sea in the port of Buenos Aires, at the domestic airport on a layover between flights.
The Bain family has already shown its strength with our colleagues from the Buenos Aires office supporting our travel with advice and local knowledge. They even booked our transfer between airports and we were met by a charming man who navigated us safely through downtown morning rush hour traffic to a second airport. We have been invited to join the Argentina Bainies for a celebration on our way home when we have a few more hours to spare between flights. We are all touched by their kindness.
Challenges so far…. Being ‘off-grid’ rather sooner than anticipated, there appears to be little network coverage so our blackberries are not getting emails but we just picked up a weak wifi network in the corner of the airport to get this blog post out to you. Laptop batteries are running low after a 14 hour flight so we have our chairs wedged up against the wall to keep the plugs in the sockets because our South American adapters keep falling out onto the ground. But that has given us the excuse to sit down to a delicious lunch whilst we wait for our next plane.
I guess we will get used to reduced communications and probably come to relish it. I am interested to know how long that takes.
Our first major hurdle is also complete. We had about 100% more luggage than the weight allowance permitted but somehow we got our luggage through without paying excess baggage charges. One bag is so huge that it became wedged between the sides of the conveyor belt, so who knows if it will make it on our flight? Fingers are firmly crossed.
So what next? We are flying down to Ushuaia this afternoon to be met by the 2041 team. This is the team and the people we have spoken with on the phone since last August as we planned our approach and discussed the Results Delivery program we will run. We will finally get to meet them this evening. It is exciting.
We have heard that Ushuaia is a real frontier town. The grocery store sells toothpaste and chainsaws. People drive for 8 hours across the desolate terrain of Patagonia just to go shopping, so they sell winches and steel cable beside the chocolate bars and potato chips. It is a reminder of just how remote you are. We are scheduled to arrive by 8pm local time this evening so I hope to post some early impressions tomorrow.