Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Hello from Argentina. . . . . . . . .

Made it to Buenos Aires without any hitches thankfully. . . . . .but it was tiring,
 around 14 hours total traveling. We are still wide awake though and will be off to
 dinner at 7 pm (early for BA where 10 pm is more the locals time to dine. . . and
 then dance tango!  

View from our hotel room includes Torre Monumental, formerly prior to the
 1982 Falklands War named Torre de los Ingleses (Tower of the English).
 It was a gift from the local British community to the city in commemoration of the
 centennial of the May Revolution of 1810. The tower is Palladian style, decorated
 with symbols of the British Empire, featuring the thistle of Scotland, the English rose,
 the Welsh dragon and the Irish shamrock.

Tomorrow we head out - two bus loads of mostly Brits - on a 4 hour
 sightseeing tour of this huge city of around 3 million people + a million more
 who come to work in the city daily, and known as the Paris of South America.
Hope to get more photos to share before flying further south to
 Ushuaia to embark our ship on Thursday.

Have a great evening.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Wrapping up . . . . . . . . . . . .

March roared in like a lion!
Yesterday trees came down around the neighborhood, 
some people lost power.
It's chilly again this week as we prepare to leave.
The very strong winds from the big Nor'easter (hope all my friends up
 north are OK) reached here in the southeast - no snow thankfully - and
 getting out by plane come Monday should be OK, fingers crossed.
Cold and blustery today but the sun was bright.

Things happen. Thoughts run rampant.
Our heating system went on the blink, it was cold downstairs.  
Now repaired we can go without worrying the house is too cold. 
We shut off the water at the main always when leaving on an extended trip.
Our kindly neighborhood 'watchdogs', family members, and assorted
 friends who check on everything for us are alerted . . . . . . . and alert!

Bob did the first grass mowing of the year this week - a manicured lawn
 always looks good. Sadly, I may miss seeing my bluebells and my
 tulips bloom if the weather warms up whilst we're gone. 

I noticed the wood pile is really low - on the list for when we return -
Order a cord of firewood so it will be seasoned by next autumn/winter.
Always planning ahead.

Winter blankets, throws, duvets are still scattered on beds and furniture - a
 reminder that spring cleaning awaits in April/May. . . . . . . . . after the heavy pollen
 season we experience here in The City of Oaks.

Today hair and nails taken care of. A goodbye lunch with granddaughter Jasmin,
then back home to wash bed linen while Bob was on a ladder getting twigs off the 
roof - dangerous!
Helped Bob pack - if YOU have a man who's a good packer you're fortunate!
Completing my packing tomorrow.
Quick meal tonight - tuna stuffed baked potatoes with salad.
An excellent Australian Shiraz to finish up. . . . . a little TV, then an early night.

The landscape will be completely different when we return - Spring will have
 sprung and the many lovely greens of the new season will have enveloped
 the neighborhood. 
Exciting to go away and see new places, but always wonderful to come home again.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

FIN DEL MUNDO - here we come. . . . . . .

. . . . . .soon we'll be leaving on our expedition trip, starting from
 Ushuaia, Argentina  - fin del mundo, the end of the world!

Not quite as far south as Antarctica this time, but far enough to view
 snow-capped mountains and glaciers, some amazing scenery, wildlife,
 and of course birds . . . . . . my dream is to see an Andean condor in flight!

Fortunately, sailing from Ushuaia, the rounding of the turbulent seas of 
Cape Horn will be via the Beagle Channel so hoping we'll not be tossed too
 badly. Bob has loaded up on seasickness pills but we're hoping for smooth
 sailing! It will be his first time riding on Zodiacs so packing waterproofs and
 warm clothing for life on a cold sea, is all part of this new experience for him.

I made this little map to give you an idea of our route.  
Starting from Raleigh, NC to Argentina via Dallas, TX - where we'll
 meet up with our friends, Paula, Kim & Rob, coming from San Francisco.
The overnight flight is long, arriving in Buenos Aires the next morning.

In Buenos Aires we join the group sailing with us, 120 passengers, and the
 expedition team. The crew will be waiting with the ship in Ushuaia.
 With two nights in Buenos Aires, a fun city, we'll have time for sightseeing
 and practicing our tango dancing before flying to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego -
see more about my previous visit here -  the southernmost city in the world which
 was also the jump off point when I sailed to Antarctica in 2013.

In Ushuaia we embark the beautiful Hebridean Sky. As we sail away on the
 evening tide to Chile, views such as this will be waiting as we visit the fjords,
 national parks, small coastal towns and villages, and islands.
  Hoping for good weather, smooth water for Zodiac rides, and sunshine
 for good photos to share with you later!

"Hasta luego"
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