I’ve said for a terribly long time that I will publish pictures from my voyage to Antarctica. Better late than never. I will write about it now, through some different chapters over the next weeks. So stay tuned, if you want to hear more. It started in this beautiful corner of the world: Patagonia in the south of Argentina.
Ushuaia, the southernmost town of the world is often referred to as “the end of the world”. (True is that the village Puerto Williams, lies even further south in Chile. However, it’s populated by a few militaries and doesn’t hold the status of a town. I’ll show you pictures of Puerto Williams later too.)
The ambience in Ushuaia in November is quite similar to that in any ski village of northern Swedish in April: The sun is warming but the wind is chilly. Some climbers are walking around and looking cool, some skiers having a beer after a day in the snow, some tourists shopping expensive outdoor equipment. But in Ushuaia, there is also a bunch of nervously smiling people, sparkling with the expectations of going to Antarctica.
But how do you go to Antarctica when you’re a budget bus traveler through South America? Aren’t those cruises starting at like 7000 USD? Yes, they normally do.
Yet, I was holding this ticket in my hand. Without even having to hang around for weeks in Ushuaia as some backpackers do, waiting for the great deal. How do you get a last-minute deal to Antarctica? How do you get a last-minute deal to Antarctica without going to Ushuaia a lot in advance?
The answer is Daniela, the amazing Argentinean woman sitting behind those penguins in the photo above. She helps finding last-minute deals and she guided me through the whole process over email while I was in Bolivia and Paraguay. Contact me if you want her details.
My smile was this big when my new-found friend Riley and I walked down to the port of Ushuaia to look at our ship, the afternoon before departure day. The smallest ship in port, Ocean Nova, was ours. But I had read that the smaller ships, the better. Since there is a limit for how many people are allowed to disembark in Antarctica at the time, if there are more than 100 people, the one who paid much less than the others is likely to get less disembarking time at the continent.
But when the waves of the Drake’s passage grow 11 meters high… Well, I’ll tell you more about that in the next post.