Sunday, November 20, 2011

South America: Check!

We arrived into Ushuaia, Argentina this morning as we ate breakfast.  In an incredible display of efficiency, the ship's crew had us and our luggage off the ship and at a luggage storage depot by 9:15 AM.  Scott, Winston, and I grabbed our ski gear and hailed a taxi.  The three of us squeezed into the back seat while the driver felt it was perfectly ok to put our skis and snowboard in the passenger seat.  The issue from our perspective was that this placed the tips of the skis within inches of Scott's face.  It turns out the biggest hazards of this entire trip may not be avalanches or crevasses, but rather taxis.  After at first heading completely the wrong direction we convinced the driver to turn around and we made it to the trailhead for the Martial Glacier.  We hiked in for a mile to the base of a snow field we enjoyed before our departure to Antarctica.  We put our boots on, climbed to the top of the snow field, and at 10:10 AM finished skiing continent #2: South America.  

We switched back to our shoes and headed back down the hill.  Apparently we were huge entertainment for a whole contingent of Japanese tourists who snapped photo after photo of us hiking carrying our skis on our packs.  We found a bigger taxi to take us back into town.  We had fantastic pizza and orange Fanta for lunch and then hauled most of our gear to Winston's hotel, cleaned up, and prepared to depart once again.  A big thanks goes to Winston for taking back to the US our extra set of skis and superfluous clothes in a large duffle bag.  We are now at the airport waiting to depart for Buenos Aires and then on to Auckland.  Only 5 more to go!
 Ski bags!  Get your ski bags here!  All types, all sizes!
 Scott looking uncertain about the new, yet untested, Ski Airbag system in Ushuaia Taxis
 Thank goodness there is snow ahead...skiing gravel is poor for the wax on our skis.
 Working for our turns.
 Just in case gravity doesn't give us a clue, a sign reminds us which way to descend.
Continent number 2, South America, is a success!

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