This is IT. I am spending my last night in Patagonia and will summarize after I write my daily blog.
As everyone knows, I had some stomach issues last night and woke up at 1 AM to write to everyone. Finished at around 2 AM and immediately went back to sleep. Was supposed to get up at 4:30 to shoot the sunrise over Beagle Bay, but could not. Finally got up at 7:30 and crawled down to breakfast. Met some of the others who had eaten fish with my yesterday and none of them were sick. We diagnosed my sickness as either extreme fatigue and or dehydration. I will drink much more water today. It is 9:52 PM at the end of the world and it is still light outside. The sun has set but it is twilight. Does not get fully dark until around 11:30 and the twilight starts to come back around 4 with the sun rising at around 5. What will it be like in Antartica? I can only wonder.
We left the hotel at around 9 AM for our trip to “Tierra Del Fuego”. All the stores and shops are closed on Sundays in Ushuaia. Like a ghost town. No one walking on the street. We drove about one hour north of town to the entrance to Tierra Del Fuego. This is a big national park. It costs 350 pesos to enter and Moises had done his homework. He knew where to go and what were the best locations for our picture shooting. He has never been here, but studied the maps and figured it out. I was immediately struck by the beautiful snow capped mountains and lush river streams teaming with beautiful petrified logs and wood. My camera started to click. We drove around and stopped wherever we wanted to. I beautiful way to take pictures with no other care in the world. Just you, nature and your camera. PRICELESS. We finally drove over to a large glacial lake surrounded by snow capped mountains. The weather had totally changed and it was cold and windy here. Not like the other parts of the park. I took out my wide angle and got some awesome shots. We then found the visitor center for some lunch. I did not eat, but had two double cappuccinos Andy style. The food looked great. Lots of people were eating great looking meat on hot platters. The Argentinians love their beef. It was now back in the van for a few more stops. One stop was a picnic area. There were lots of families cooking all different kinds of meat on open air pits and the smell was something to behold. We got back to the hotel at around 3:30 PM. I great way to spend a day at the end of the world.
I was starting to feel better, but my calf muscle started to ache again. Oh well, if its not one thing, its another. Being old is a real pain. Took a nice hot shower and shave and it was time to meet the group for Antartica. Some of the people I knew from previous trips and it was like meeting and talking to old friends again. When you spend time with people on trips like this, the group normally develops a bond that lasts for quite some time. There are 74 of us. We were then all bused to a beautiful restaurant and served a great dinner with, you guessed it, barbecue beef and sausage. The meat is so tender and special here. I only had the beef. No sides. Just enjoyed the taste and juice.
I plan on meeting Moises at 4:30 tomorrow morning to shoot the sunrise. When will I ever have the opportunity to shoot a sunrise at the end of the world? Need to drag myself out and do it. You never know, maybe this is the perfect shot.
Now the plans for tomorrow. Probably I will be back in my room at 5:30 and go back to sleep. Will meet Moises and Sandra at around 8:30 for breakfast. We need to have our suitcases in the lobby by 9:30. Our suitcases are being taken to our cabins on the boat. Most of the people have roommates and have already met them. I have also met my roommate. Me. No one could ever stand to be my roommate except for Olivia. I am that messy, disorganized and my sleep pattern is ugly. We need to check out by 10 and we get on the boat at 4 PM and the boat sets sail at 6 PM. In the meantime, we will be walking around town and maybe do some shopping and buy things we do not need. There is sporadic internet service on the boat. There are two computers that you can pay $10 for thirty minutes worth of time, but I was told the service does not always work. You need to make a reservation. So let me set the stage for you. We leave at 6, go through Beagle Bay and then go into the dreaded Drake. What will the Drake be like? Will this ocean monster accept us with calm open arms and cradle us to Antartica or say, get out of here and make it difficult for us to reach Antartica? No one knows except the Drake.
What will I do with my daily blog? How will you know if I survived the Drake? When I go to places where there is no internet, such as a yert in Mongolia, I still write my daily blog, on word. When I have internet service I then copy and paste onto my website and publish. You may not hear from me until December 13 or it may be sooner. No one knows. Could you survive without the internet and cell for that long? I will bet you many of us can’t.
Now to summarize Patagonia. Patagonia is a very unique place. It is so beautiful. I will always remember Mt. Fitz Roy and the Patagonian Death March to shoot the mountain as sun rises. The gauchos and their way of living without a care in the world. The food they eat and how they cook it. The awesomeness and beauty of Glacier Pietro Moreno cannot be described. How I would love for everyone to see this spectacle. I hope my pictures are worthy of Patagonia.
Talk to everyone whenever.