Kavey says Ola from Buenos Aires

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Jan 1st, 2005, 03:31 PM
  #21
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Well... I adore Africa and I spend half my life day dreaming or night dreaming about it.

I know I will never get bored.

BUT I can now also understand why the Scotts are so enamoured of Antarctica - this was their 12th trip.

I would love to go again, especially to South Georgian wildlife sites and some of the berg-filled harbours of the Peninsula.

Realistically though I imagine we'll make many more trips to Africa before a return to Antarctica.

Unless we win the lottery in which case we'll be flying to Africa next week and following time there with another stint in Antarctica!
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Jan 4th, 2005, 06:11 AM
  #22
 
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Kavey and Liz -- thanks so much for the info on your Antarctic trips. My husband and I are planning on going sometime between Dec '05 and Feb '06. Jon (a few years older than I am!) was there in 1956 on an icebreaker with the Navy for a National Geophysical Year expedition and he's always wanted to go back. We've been leaning towards a smaller ship, so it was good to see your feedback. I'd also been wondering about how much time to spend on South Georgia, as I'd heard it's just wonderful. I've just really started our research on the different ships, etc.
Kavey, I absolutely agree about Machu Picchu -- it was one of the most magical places I've ever been!
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Jan 4th, 2005, 06:54 AM
  #23
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KT
You're welcome and please feel free to email me if you want to talk about it further or call me if you'd prefer to talk "live"...
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Feb 6th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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Hi Kavey,
I'm hoping you can give me a bit more information about your clothing
for Antarctica...we're going this December and there's a lot of winter
gear on sale now, a good time to pick up new stuff!!
Our tour company (GAP adventures) is suggesting rubber, waterproof
boots. I know you said you had Sorels. I was wondering if those
would be better simply because they are waterproof and warm? The idea
of big black rubber boots just sounds cold. However, it doesn't sound
like it's really as cold there as it seems??
Also, is it better to have Gore-tex shell pants or the thicker
Gore-tex ski pants?
How many layers did you dress in? Is it worth it to buy the technical
polypropelene/silk/wool underwear or tops/bottoms?

Any advice you may have would be great!!

THANKS!
vancouvergirl
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Feb 7th, 2005, 04:19 AM
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Vancouver Girl-
I'm guessing you're from BC, not Vancouver, WA where I'm from.
We were told to bring those black rubber boots that come to your knees. When we left they said we could leave them behind for others on the next cruise. So they must have a hold area full of them. We also took silk thermal unders for the top and bottom and ski pants. Many layers of socks and yes it was cold. We had ski masks and ski gloves too. It was very cold as you walked out on deck to see things and they kept hot broth drinks and tea and hot chocolate in large urns there.
You get out of the Zokiaks into water almost up to your knees and same when you get ready to leave. We then also carried evening clothes for the Captains Party and formal nights. They provide red parkas for everyone which you must always wear ashore so that they can see if anyone is still there when they pull out. Thats how it was on the Orient Marco Polo Line anyway. Liz
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Feb 7th, 2005, 04:54 AM
  #26
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Vancouver Girl
Some of what we needed/ used on our Peregrine trip differs a little from Liz's list for her Orient Line trip so it would help to know which style of trip you are going on.
I'm training a class today but will try and respond when I get home tonight.
Kavey
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Feb 7th, 2005, 10:50 AM
  #27
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Hello Vancouver Girl

My advice is based very much on the kind of trip we did which was very much styled as an educational expedition rather than a cruise. If you're booked on a more typical cruise type trip my advice may well be irrelevant.

We were very lucky with weather (no rain, one short snow blizzard and clear, sunny, blue skies most of the time). It was quite cold because even though the air temperature wasn't much below zero (centigrade) the wind chill in some locations did make it feel colder.

Each of us had packed two thin thermal longjohns of the type that regular department stores sell as well as two longsleeved thermal vests. With the exception of Falkland Island landings where the weather wasn't as biting, these were the inner layer.

The next layer was a pair of thick jogging pants, again just regular inexpensive ones from regular stores. We packed two pairs each but given that these were worn over the longjohns and under other layers they didn't get dirty and we didn't really need two pairs each.

On top of these we wore waterproof ski pants - the type that have an integral layer of padding - the bulky ones. The packing list had advised us just to get the standard thin waterproof overtrousers and wear them over warm trousers (which is what lots of passengers had and were fine with) but we were both very, very pleased to have our ski pants for extra warmth and comfort. Pete's were fully waterproof with taped seams but I was not able to find a taped seams pair in my size in time and was forced to buy a pair made from the exact same waterproof material but without taped seams. It made a massive distance as I did have a rather damp bottom on the occasions that waves splashed high during the zodiac transfers.

On our top half we were a little different. Pete mostly just wore a single layer and then his coat and the single layer would sometimes be one of his longsleeve vests, a thin but very warm fleece or just a T-shirt. I always wore my thin thermal vest and about half the time I put another layer on before my coat and half the time I put my coat straight over. Our coats are very warm indeed. They are Land Rover coats designed for use in very low temperatures. The snow jacket on this page http://www.riponlandrover.co.uk/html...limates-p3.htm is the same jacket though ours are grey and black rather than red and black. We loved having the underarm vents as sometimes you work up some heat by plodding around on shore and need to let in a blast of cold air!

The layer I sometimes wore over the vest and under my coat was just a very thin warm fleece. I picked up one each for each of us in the ski wear shop where we bought our boots and ski pants.

For wearing indoors on the ship we both took a couple of pairs of regular comfortable trouser. Mine happened to be Rohan as I wear those a lot at home. Pete had a pair of Rohans and a pair of jeans too.

We both packed a couple of additional warm tops and a number of T-shirts. I wish I'd put in more Tshirts as the ship was, of course, heated to a pleasant level inside and I seldom needed more than a Tshirt inside.

We had put in one vaguely smart outfit each incase everyone decided to dress up for the Captain's dinner on the last night but it absolutely wasn't that kind of trip and we were delighted not to get these items out.

In terms of footwear, we both took our regular walking boots for use on the ship (indoors and out) and occasionally on shore. I also took a pair of small, black pumps. As for the waterproof boots for the wet landings, we had been advised that the ship would certainly have plenty available should we find it difficult to bring our own. Well, my husband is 6 foot 6 so you can imagine he has big feet. We asked if they had boots in his size and they said it was unlikely so we started to search. I too started to look. We quickly realised we could not find any wellington boots in his size and that all the ones in my size were designed for women with slimmer calves than mine. We found the Sorel Caribou's in the ski wear shop and both got a pair. We were a little worried at first because they are waterproof to a height of a little less than a foot whereas wellingtons usually come higher than that. But none of the wet landings necessitated walking in water deeper than ankle height or just above that and the boots were fine. The plus point is that they were really, really comfortable and incredibly warm. We never wore anything other than thin regular socks beneath them as their integral woolly liners kept us plenty warm. They were also ideal for walking on snow. They were expensive compared to the other style so we did bring them home with us whereas most people left their boots onboard to make more space for shopping on the way home.

What I'm also really glad we had are the neck scarf things - the ones where the scarf is actually a complete loop that you slip over your head and can tighten slightly more with a drawstring along one edge. Infact you can tighten it to close that end and use it as a hat too. They were brilliant. And on top of our heads we had these hats (North Face I think) which were fleece lined, had flaps for our ears, a sunvisor and string to tie them in place (vital on speeding zodiacs). And of course our coat hoods which we kept up mostly for the zodiac trips and when particularly cold. We didn't wear our balaclavas as they weren't comfortable. I noticed one person had some that had a vent for nose and mouth which would allow them to be pulled higher on the face without causing breathing issues. That would be good.

Gloves were the biggest problem. Warm weather ones come with inner layer plus thick, waterproof outer layer. Can't take pics with outer layer on so I seldom wore mine. Inner layer got wet and made hands colder so seldom wore that either. Had cold hands a lot. It was worth it for the pictures and I'd put gloves on intermittently to warm up.

I think that's it but ask away if I can help more!
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Feb 7th, 2005, 02:26 PM
  #28
 
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Thanks for all the advice!! The trip we're going on is more an expedition style trip...lots of zodiac landings, no fancy dinners, 100 people on the ship.
I think I'm most concerned about the footwear. I have the big rubber boots but I don't think they'll be very warm. However, the Sorels are quite a bit more...$70/80US. A lot to pay for something I'll probably only use on this trip. If I have the rubber boots with a felt lining and wear extra-warm thermal socks (two layers) do you think I'll be warm enough?

and yes, it's vancouver, BC!

Thanks!
elaine
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Feb 7th, 2005, 05:48 PM
  #29
 
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Elaine-
With the rubber boots, $13 at Walmart, we wore two pairs of heavy socks and since they stayed dry, our feet were plenty warm. Liz
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Feb 8th, 2005, 04:55 AM
  #30
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If you can easily find regular wellington boots in your size you certainly don't NEED to go for anything more than that.

MOST people went for that option.

We couldn't actually do that and hence went for the Sorel Caribou boots.

In the end we were delighted with them because they were very comfy and a lot of people said they found it hard to walk much in the regular wellies for the longer excursions (3-4 hours).

We will likely use ours again for an Arctic trip plus trips to places like Northern Finland/ Sweden etc so we didn't feel the price was too onerous.

But you certainly would be OK with regular wellington boots!
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Feb 8th, 2005, 11:12 AM
  #31
 
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VANCOUVERGIRL,
I've been off the board for months and am I glad to be back ;-D and can't wait to catch up on Botswana, But, we had a short visit to the way south a couple of years ago and would love to return, can't help but wonder ....who are you traveling with?
marilyn
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Feb 8th, 2005, 11:26 AM
  #32
 
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BUENOS TARDES KAVEY! I hope you have had a little time to enjoy BA, especially the wounderful, sweet people and the Teatro Colon. Fabulous. I loved BA, I wished it were next door instead of half a world away. If I lived in Miami I would go there always. I am so happy you had a wonderful trip. Weren't the people of Ushuaia...well, everyone was so pleased to be living there Who would of thought? Hate to admit it but it's damned easy to get pretty "climate-centric" here in San Diego county.....having a little humble pie is mighty refreshing sometimes :->
marilyn
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Feb 8th, 2005, 11:38 AM
  #33
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Honestly, I was sooo tired when we hit Buenos Aires that we didn't do much at all. We went out for a wonderful meal at a restaurant whose exact name escapes me, Cabana Lilas maybe on the evening after our arrival (having just chilled and enjoyed hot baths during the afternoon) and the next day just did a little walking near our hotel (in the shopping district) but were worn out by the intense heat. Stopped for another great meal for lunch at Happenings restaurant and then left for the airport...
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Jun 30th, 2005, 09:36 AM
  #34
 
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Sorry MZCURIOUZ for the delay in responding! I've been off the board for a while...
To answer your question, we are going with GAP Adventures.
Five months to go!!!
Thanks to everyone for the great advice.
vancouvergirl
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Jun 30th, 2005, 09:38 AM
  #35
 
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one more question...if kavey or anyone else with Antarctic experience is reading this...
How would you compare the Patagonia/El Calafate region to Antarctica? Do we need to stop in Patagonia if we've been to Antarctica? I have been reading about the famous Perito Moreno glacier but it sounds like we'll be seeing LOTS of glaciers in Antarctica. There are other places I'd like to see in Argentina instead if Patagonia will be too much like Antarctica...
Any advice would be great!
I will also post on the Latin America page...
Thanks!!
vancouvergirl
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Jun 30th, 2005, 01:38 PM
  #36
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Hope someone else can help... I didn't visit that region so I can't compare at all, I'm afraid.

Did you try the South America board too?
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Jun 30th, 2005, 09:06 PM
  #37
 
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I did post one on the Latin America site...
Thanks!
vancouvergirl
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