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Hanneke goes Antarctica! - Travelogues February 2007

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Author: Hanneke
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Duration: 15 days
Date of departure: 2 February 2007
Number of travelers: 1
Name of travelers: Hanneke
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Overview

Hi all,

We're leaving UEA on Sunday at 8:45 in the morning. We're travelling to Heathrow by coach, then flying to Madrid where we board a plane all the way to Santiago (in Chile, it takes 14 hours!) late at night. We'll arrive there in the morning and continue to Punta Arenas (at the southern tip of Chile). We will spend the night there.

From there, we will fly to Rothera and board the ship (on Tuesday).

It's all very exciting!! Patama and I have organized a small goodbye party tonight, it should be fun. On Saturday I am probably packing, we're lucky we can bring lots of luggage and that all the warm clothes are already on the ship. (We had to try them on last July when it was 30 degrees! :D)

So my next message will probably be from Antarctica!! Till then!!

Hanneke :)

Steps

6th February 2007 - Long journey!

We left Norwich at about 9 in the morning, and got to Heathrow at 11:45. We were supposed to fly to Madrid at 15:25, but they told us we were booked on the 12:15 flight! So we rushed through security and ran to the gate, only to find out the plane had a 45 minutes delay. It was a pretty flight and I had a window seat. This is a mountain range near the coast in the north of Spain.

We got to Madrid at about 16:00. When we picked up our boarding cards for the next flight, they told us it was delayed until 3 AM!! So we spent 11 hours in the airport of Madrid... It's quite big but really empty. It was quite boring to sit around and wait for so long.

The flight from Madrid to Santiago (Chile) took 13 hours. I was really tired, and fell asleep immediately after dinner, and slept for 6 hours! For me, it was the first time on a flight where you had a screen in the seat in front of you, nice! You can decide which film you want to see anytime you want, listen to music, even play games :)
Unfortunately I sat in the middle of the plane, so I didn't see anything at all during the flight.

We got to Santiago shortly after 1 PM local time, picked up our luggage and checked in for the next flight. We had 7 hours this time. They gave us another free meal, this one was really nice! It was a large buffet with really nice food and lots of cakes, I was happy :)

It was strange to suddenly find yourself in the Summer! It was quite warm in Santiago and the sun was really bright. At night we played frisbee in the parking lot of the airport. These are two photos taken in the airport, in the one on the right you can see how expensive food is in Chile... no just kidding, $1000 is about 1 pound. It's easy to feel rich :)

I had a window seat on the flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas (with a stop in Puerto Montt), but unfortunately on the wrong side, the Andes was on the other side of the plane and I only saw clouds. The sunset was really nice though...

I was so tired that I didn't even notice taking off from Puerto Montt, and I slept most of the flight till we got to Punta Arenas shortly after midnight. Unfortunately the agent wasn't there to pick us up, so we had to call him and wait for him. By this time we were so tired of hanging around in airports, we all longed for a bed! By 2 AM we got to our hotel, we could finally take a shower and sleep in a real bed, after 44 hours of travelling!

We could only sleep for 5 hours though, we had to have breakfast at 8:00. At 8:45 we were taken back to the airport (so we didn't get to see Punta Arenas at all, such a shame!). It was really exciting though to finally get to the Dash-7 (the British Antarctic Survey plane that is taking us to Rothera).
Here are some photos of us boarding the plane.

It's a really cool plane!! You can just walk around and our luggage is in the cabin with us. We can make tea for ourselves and there are biscuits. The pilots are really friendly and you can walk up to the cockpit anytime for a chat and a nice view :)
The first part of the flight was really nice, with good views of Punta Arenas and Tierra del Fuego. Now we can just see clouds and ocean, and it will be that way until we reach Rothera, where it is cloudy at the moment as well. The ship is already there, and it's supposed to leave as soon as we get there... so no chance of seeing Rothera eihter, we are not very lucky!

The photo of Punta Arenas is taken especially for someone who told me Punta Arenas is not on the coast... HAHA :P As you can see, the coast is indeed MILES away from the city, I can really understand you wouldn't notice the presence of the ocean.

We should be arriving in Rothera in about 1.5 hours... (total flight time is about 4 hours!) My laptop battery is dying now so this is all, I'll post this blog as soon as I get internet access.

Update: I am now on the ship! Arriving to Rothera by plane was amazing, the views were simply incredible!! We spent about an hour at Rothera station, and someone there was kind enough to take us for a walk. I have many photos but they deserve a seperate post, so check back soon! We've been on the ship for about 5 hours now, and I had so many new impressions that I am really tired... So sorting out photos for the new post will have to wait till tomorrow. Till then!


Travelogue's review

Date: 7/26/2008 1:19:00 PM

Do u have some pictures?

Ajay

Date: 4/6/2008 2:08:00 PM

Hello. Let's get acquainted! My name is Jessika.

SeanyDelplype

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