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Trip Report Antarctic Expedition - Journey to the Bottom of the World

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My husband and I went to Antarctica last month and had a wonderful trip that I'd like to share with you.

Journey to the Bottom of the World

Antarctica: land of ice and snow, bitter wind, capricious weather, and stunning beauty. Throughout our journey, I wanted to use the word majestic to describe what we were seeing, but it seemed too trite a word ' a bit of a cliché ' and somehow didn't do justice to what we were experiencing. Not a problem, I thought; when I get home, I'll find a word: splendid, spectacular, impressive, striking, glorious, superb, magnificent, awesome, awe-inspiring, breathtaking' None quite capture the essence. For once I am at a loss for words.

So ' without words, where do I start? I guess at the beginning. 2008 was a milestone year for my husband and me; it was the year of our 40th anniversary and my 60th birthday so, rather spontaneously, we decided to also make this the year we accomplished our goal of visiting all seven continents.

Getting ready for a journey to the Antarctic entails a certain amount of preparation ' even when traveling in the lap of luxury, as we were fortunate enough to do. Everything depends on the wind and weather. The Antarctic summer isn't as cold as you might expect; temperatures ranged from 28' to 38'F. What will get you is the wind. Although the beginning of our trip was calm, we later experienced winds over 130 km/hr. Talk about the wind-chill factor! Having the proper clothing and equipment is imperative, and we spent the six weeks prior to the trip checking and double-checking to be sure we had all the right gear. Finally, ready or not, we were packed and set to go.

Since this trip report is about Antarctica, and most of us have endured airport layovers, long flights, and jet lag there isn't much to tell. I'll skip most of the 'getting there' portion of our trip except to say that we had uneventful flights, made our connections, didn't loose any luggage, and spent 3 pleasant days in Buenos Aires. While in Buenos Aires, we ran into Robert Duvall, stayed in the same hotel where Madonna was staying, and became fascinated with Eva Peron. Although we enjoyed Buenos Aires, I must admit that we felt, to a certain degree, that we were marking time. We were ready and waiting for the Big Adventure!

NEXT: TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

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