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A short drive in the Southern Hemisphere

Antarctica Blog Archive

Antarctic photos transferred from the Blog



Ushuaia, Argentina Monday 26 October 2009

Well, we have made it, as far South as you can go in South America without resorting to boats or aeroplanes.  All of the souvenir shops and Irish bars are open but the camp sites are still shut until November.
So anyway, we’re still having a few days R&R and doing some overdue maintenance on Flo, tightening up some nuts and bolts, re-securing the undercarriage and carrying out the 50,000 kms service.
We have also just met Dave and Rose, the first British Overlanders we have met since leaving Portland over a year ago. As you can imagine we had lots to talk about whilst camping/squatting in the car park of the closed campsite.
We’ve taken a trip out on the Beagle Channel and are considering going a little further South, maybe across the Drake Passage.
The next two days we’ll leave Ushuaia and spend time in the Tierra del Fuego National Park.

We just have to decide whether to pop over to Antarctica!

Ushuaia, Argentina 04November 2009

Well we visited Tierra del Fuego National Park, $50 each for the privilege, a bit steep for what is a nice but unassuming park.  We’re now back in Ushuaia at the Club Andino campsite located at a ski slope above the town. A nice peaceful campsite with good views over the town and surrounding area, not enough snow for skiing though, even though it seems to snow every day.
We’re now just relaxing and thinking about and planning our trip to the Antarctic. We have just booked up on a last minute offer on the Antarctic Dream for an eleven day cruise to the Antarctic peninsular.
We’re now looking through our wardrobes for any suitable cold weather gear that we may have prior to going out on a spending spree for hats, gloves, boots, string vests and long johns.

Off to the Antarctic 07 November 2009

Well, tomorrow morning our ship should come in to port and we should set sail to the Great White Continent at around 1900. We’ll be back on-line in 10-11 days unless savaged by penguins.


Well, what can we say apart from ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!  There were penguins everywhere, lots of snow and some huge icebergs.  We’ve selected just a few of the hundreds of photos that we took – we hope you enjoy them.

07-17November 2009 Antarctica in the Antarctic Dream

As I write this, we are sailing back through the Beagle Channel to Ushuaia, having spent a fantastic 9-day voyage to the Antarctic. Of course they always sell these voyages as 11 days (including the day of departure and arrival even though you leave at 1900 on the first day and arrive before breakfast on the last day).
We obtained a last minute place on the Antarctic Dream for US$3990 to visit the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsular. And although it is a huge amount of money we feel that it is worth it for a rather unique experience to round off our southern hemisphere circumnavigation. The ship and cabin (double bed with private bathroom, unlike the alternative ship’s bunk beds and shared bathroom) were comfortable, the meals were very good and crew and guides were capable. Free wine and soft drinks too but unfortunately beer was US$5 for a small bottle! A bit of a shocker as it only costs around US$0.50 in the local shops – that’s the local shops in Ushuaia not Antarctica
Of course, to get to the Antarctic, you have to cross the Drake Passage, two days and nights on a ‘lively body of water’ although on the return journey it was as calm as could be.
One of the first things we did on reaching the Antarctic mainland was drop off two explorers who were planning to kayak around the peninsular for four months, unfortunately, one of them sustained a back injury on the first day and we had to retrieve them on the return journey.

Anyway, the scenery was absolutely breathtaking and the wildlife completely captivating. We must have 500 photos of penguins in every pose imaginable! But rather than try to describe it, there are just a few photos posted on the new photos page to give you an idea.


Antarctic Cormorant

Chinstrap penguin

Port Lockroy
This is an old British Scientific Research Station from 1944 – 1962.  It is now a museum and post office!

Antarctic sunset

Antarctica- Adelie Penguins

Chinstrap penguin with a rock to build a nest
All the penguins, including this Chinstrap penguin , use stones to build their nests.

Gentoo penguin calling his mate.

Ice bergs
Just one of many ‘awesome’ ice bergs.

Weddel Seal

Deception Island
This is a volcanic caldera which has hot water near the beach.  You can go swimming later in the year but as you can see there was a lot of pack ice so we could not get there.

Just two of the hundreds of Gentoo penguins

Leopard seal
This leopard seal seemed oblivious to the freezing cold water.

Pack ice
The ship broke through some of the pack ice at Deception Island – amazing.

The long drive North to Montevideo 17 November 2009

After a day to organise ourselves and Flo for the last 4000 kms of our epic journey we will set off from Ushuaia, crossing back through Chilean territory for the last time as we drive through Tierra del Fuego and Northwards.
On the way up, we also plan to stop for a couple of days in or near Puerto Madryn to see if the whales and orcas are still there.