Monday, December 30, 2019

Antarctica - Day 16

December 13

Well, it started off a very bittersweet day as the trip has officially come to an end.  I woke up and got the last of my stuff packed and put my bag in the hallway for pick up, and then headed upstairs to watch as we docked and got ready to leave the ship.  As people slowly started to fill the lounge, many of us began exchanging contact information and saying our goodbyes.  There were some great people on this trip and some I really hope to stay in touch with and maybe even meet up with and shoot together again.  We watched as the ship docked and had to wait onboard until customs had come on and cleared the crew and ship.

There were three busses waiting to take everyone to the airport.  Two were for those people on the first flight out which seemed to be about 2/3 of the group.  It sounded like they actually would be the vast majority of passengers on the first flight out too which was kind of funny.  I was on the third bus with the last 1/3 of the group, most of which were flying out later in the day.  I think there were a handful staying over in Ushuaia at least 1 more day which sounded like a great plan right about then.  We were driven to the parking lot at the end of the pier were we were then able to leave our bags on the bus and get out and wander the town for a few hours until heading back to the bus at 12:30 for the short ride to the airport.  My flight out was at 3:10... and was pretty uneventful. 

After landing back in Buenos Aires, I was really wishing I had picked a hotel closer to the airport there to stay at for the night.  Not knowing the city well, I thought the smart think would be to cross town and stay at a hotel closer to the International airport where I had to fly out the next night.  That turned out to be a mistake as traffic was horrible getting across town and took well over 90 minutes to get to my hotel.  I was already tired before sitting in traffic all that time, and then discovered that there really isn't much at this end of town to see.  All the best stuff was much closer to the other end of town where I'd landed.  I'm pretty disappointed that I'm going to miss out seeing a lot of the sights on this trip now, but I guess that just means I'll have to find another reason to come back down and explore Buenos Aires a lot more.

The hotel was nice and quiet when I checked in .... other than an issue with 3 of the four cards for the door not working, check in was smooth and I pretty much collapsed into bed after settling in. Travel days can really just take it out of you, even when all you're doing for most of the day is sitting around in lines waiting to get on the plane, where you just sit some more wishing you had a few more inches of space.  Tomorrow is the long leg of the trip home, so I'm hoping to get as much sleep as possible, knowing I won't get to sleep much for the next 24 hours.

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