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Archive for ‘July, 2019’

Day 21-25 – The Journey Home…

Day Twenty One (Mar 8)

Today is lost with air travel on our plane and we make the long journey home.  Our flight didn’t leave BA until late in the evening last night, took 12 hours of flight time to Atlanta, Customs to clear, many hours of layover and terminal changes in Atlanta and 5 hours home, baggage to get, lost baggage to check on to no avail, and this day passes.

DAY TWENTY TWO (Mar 9)

Okay, the photos are blurry. They were shot quickly from a moving jet and I was behind the engines!

Home and now for real life. Now we find out that we have 21 days from the date of our loss to file a claim for our luggage.  Since we ‘lost’ our luggage in the beginning of the trip, that date is today!  So our day is filled with documenting all our lost items and compiling everything.  It turns out that the Airlines is declaring our luggage lost for good it seems.

DAY TWENTY THREE (Mar 10)

So claim filed with the Airlines. We’ll see what happens. Now to continue editing the 10,000 photos I took. I’m at about number 2700…….

DAY TWENTY FIVE (Mar 12)

Got a call today from a delivery service informing me they were nearby and had our lost luggage!  So wouldn’t you know?  Our luggage just showed up full of cold weather gear to go to Antarctica with!  Shall we go?

DAY TWENTY SIX (Mar 13)

Just for shits and giggles, we also come home from Antarctica to find our road closed due to a “Catastrophic Slope Failure” about 200 yards north of our house. There is no danger to our house or property but the road will likely be closed for the next year or more. With the reduced traffic, we already have multiple new Red Tail Hawks flying around. Soooo cool !!!

DAY ONE HUNDRED FIFTY (July 15)

Still no resolution from the Airlines. Not surprised! Now, excuse after excuse later, they are demanding all of our receipts. At least they’re supposedly working on it. I wonder how much more time it will take? Because we won’t let this go.

Day 20 – Those Fair Winds Blow Hot!

Today in Buenos Aires it is 84 degrees and “feels like” 91. I was close, I thought it felt like 93…

Okay, tired, but got the strength to get excited about seeing the remainder of this city. A hot, humid, large city.  After dressing for Antarctica, we find ourselves in Buenos Aires for a second day, at 95 degrees and somewhere around 65% humidity.  This is an interesting city.  We bought the “Hop On, Hop Off Bus” yesterday.  We rode around 2/3 of the city and have the last 1/3 to see this morning.  We get on a bus and ride through the city seeing more of this new place.

The bus finally takes us to the “Arts” section of town, the area we were told yesterday to not be in at night.  It is quite the eclectic section of town with buildings painted in all sorts of artistic ways.  Quite the place!

We arrive back in the center of the city after our 24 hour bus tickets expire and we walk around.  We hope to find a Tango exhibition but alas, it is not to be.  That would have been fun here in Argentina.  We ask around to try to find this and we are told that we might be able to find it in the Arts district, but that is the area we are told to be careful in and we decide to not return there.

Speaking of Art, it is apparent everywhere here. Gambling is also a thing for we pass a Casino on the way around town. We find an interesting lunch restaurant that at the least has air conditioning and we step in out of the heat.  I order an Isenbeck Malt Cerveza and life is good!  And cold!  Along with that, we order beef empanadas and a Eggplant-Zucchini Antipasto Salad to share.  A side note, napkins in Argentina seem to be a difficult commodity to acquire in a restaurant aside from 6 inch cocktail napkins, even for dinner.  But here at lunch, we actually are given regular dinner napkins!

Another interesting note about Argentina this entire trip that resembles every other place we have visited in South America.  Just like Peru and Ecuador, you can pay for your meals in restaurants and even taxi fares, with credit or debit cards.  But you cannot pay yout tip on the card.  Tips have to be in cash.  A note for all you travelers out there.

We find a mall to walk in out of the heat and we sit and people watch.  Here, you wouldn’t know you were anywhere but just a bustling metropolitan city.  This could be anywhere, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Miami or Buenos Aires.  People dress as they do anywhere, from casual to formal.  Ladies wearing as little as possible because of the heat tells us it is summer.  Children dressed as normal children run around and act like children anywhere.  Business people wear suits and carry satchels and briefcases just like everywhere else.

We find yet another park in which to hang out, at least this one has very tall trees for shade in the severe heat and humidity.  So we play with our cameras and horse around for the rest of the afternoon.

We decide to get a ‘last meal’, so to speak as we know we start our 25 hours of travel home soon. We even pass by a McDonalds where, for $159, you can buy a McCombo! That would be 159 Argentinean Pesos! So we walk back through town and, hey Elee, what’s that shop? 30-50% off? We check out a restaurant across the street from our hotel that we saw upon our arrival and have a bite to eat before our trip.

Then tonight we’ll start the travel home.  This might be my last post for a few days. We can hear the jets taking off from an Regional Airport from our hotel room. Not our Airport, we have to taxi across town to the Airport we will travel from.

We get a taxi to take us to the airport and it is not only rush hour in the city, but it start to pour rain down on the city.  Traffic is snarled and we barely move.  We eventually get to the airport an hour after planned and we start to get nervous again.  It also turns out the taxi, whose driver did not want to take us to begin with, dropped us off at the wrong terminal so we are left to pull our heavy bags around and try to find the correct place to be in the pouring rain.  But luckily, we find the right place in time to check in for our flight but there is no time left to spare.

Day 19 – City of Fair Winds!

Okay, made it safely to Buenos Aires, the “City of Fair Winds”, as the translation goes. Luckily, we have the new luggage we’re travelling with. We’re told our old ‘lost’ luggage may be here but no sign of it yet!  We find a bank that lets us use our debit card to replenish our supply of Pesos and we then buy tickets to the ‘Hop On, Hop Off’ bus and we start our tour of BA around 11 AM.

We come across a park on a college campus that is quite unique.  There is a sculpture shaped like a flower that has to be 50 or more feet high.  Upon closer scrutiny, it turns out this stainless steel ‘flower’ is activated by the sun and opens and closes at dawn and dusk, respectively.  My camera satiated for the time being, we get back on the next bus.

At one point in the park, we see this nasty looking wasp! But what should you do if you see one of these? Run? Of course you should run! But what did I do? Got close with the camera and took photos first!

We ride the bus around town and end up down at the waterfront where we see what looks like a great seafood restaurant and we get off and check it out.  We are informed they don’t open for another hour and a half and as we walk out, 3 tour busses of French tourists pull up out front and they all pour into the restaurant!  I guess they had reservations!

So we wait for the next bus to pull up and we find a modicum of shade.  We are across the street from the local airport and I happily take photos of landing planes.  Buenos Aires is easily 85-90 degrees, sunny & humid!  We get on the next bus and ride along.  Eventually, we get off and find a restaurant where we have Paninis for lunch with a cold beer.

We get back on the next bus and we pass by the Arts District and find our way to the ‘Recoleta’ Cemetary where we’re told we should visit.  Upon approaching the entrance, we see a tree in front that turns out to be a Madagascar Gum Tree.  This has to be the largest tree we have ever seen, larger even than the Banyon Trees of Hawaii.  So big that they have to build special supports for most of the branches and they got quite creative doing it!  The trunk of this tree is easily 25 feet in diameter!  The branches easily extend 100 feet from the center in every direction!

I can almost see the Beatles walking across that street above! Can you? We go into the church outside the cemetery and check out this hundreds of years old church.  Then we enter the cemetery and we feel as if we are in small city streets in a very large city.  Tombs and monuments line the pathways as if they were buildings on roads.  We find the tomb of Eva Peron and there are throngs of visitors here.

We make our way back to our hotel and find a fabulous steak dinner a couple blocks away. Should we eat here? The picture has the answer!

  Two full bellies later, we make our way to the hotel, taking a few of my favorite ‘night’ photos on the way.  Back in the room, I take a few more night photos from the balcony and we turn in for the evening.

The View while I Blog!

Kicking back while planning my next Blog has benefits that only those who know how to kick back can have! Let’s see, a summer day in SoCal, a Cuban Cigar, an ice cold IPA and a sense of satisfaction as I view the place I’ve built.

Cuban Cigar, $2.00 American… Cold IPA, $1.25… The relaxation that comes from Retired Life, Priceless!!!

Day 18 – Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse!

We wake in our new hotel room and pack our bags of our next leg of our journey.  Heading into the breakfast restaurant on the fourth floor, we dine with a view of the town and the harbor.  We can see our ship as they are likely cleaning it and getting ready for the last voyage it will make this season before heading north for other endeavors.

We have time before we go to the airport, so we book a trip out to the famous lighthouse here.  A small boat carrying about 10 people takes up out and we watch all kinds of birds and creatures on the way.  We even see the Ocean Diamond as it leaves out of the Beagle Channel with a new group of passengers on its last sailing to the Antarctic for the season.  Fur Seals abound on the rocks of these islands and the boat brings us in for close and personal views.

The boat barely holds the 10 passengers and we all have to squeeze around each other to get around.  I can’t help but start singing in my head, “A 3 Hour Tour”, the theme song from Gilligan’s Island!

The boat first takes us to an island where we get off the boat and take a guided hike around to see wildlife up close and personal.  It is great weather with partly cloudy skies that give depth to our camera lenses and all are happy!  We get back on the boat, which is a challenge in itself as we have to navigate somewhat off a cliff and rocks to step onto the boat.

The Lighthouse is on its own island which we are not allowed to walk on, but we get quite the photogenic views as we cruise around it.  Penguins, Seals and lots of birds fill the landscape.