A City Never Looked So Sweet

By Jim Danzenbaker and Ann Nightingale


After 20 hours of air travel, a comforting view of our final destination. (Photo by Jim Danzenbaker)

Jim's view: After a marathon 10.5 hour flight to Buenos Aires, a somewhat harrowing taxi ride between the international and domestic airports with bags and people times four, a four-hour wait in the airport and another four-hour flight, we've finally arrived in Ushuaia. The view of the city from the air never looked so sweet—no more planes for four weeks! To see the wind's signature on the water of the Beagle Channel was amazing; frothy whitecaps and streaks of white on the cold blue water. Our group of nine who were on this flight shared the plane with a large group of young participants in the "Students On Ice" program. I wonder about their reaction to the windy conditions—especially for those who had never been on a ship. Wow, was it windy when we emerged from the airport. Our baggage cart started to drift away even with luggage still on it! We explore Ushuaia and environs tomorrow.

The wind's signature on the Beagle Channel turned Ann's thoughts to seasickness. (Photo by Jim Danzenbaker)

Ann's View: The long flights since 6am yesterday allowed me to do something that I haven't done much of lately—sleep! As the sun came up this morning, the stark lines of the Andes Mountains were just outside my window. Phenomenal! The clouds south of the equator look pretty much the same as those north of the line, but the terrain was something quite different. Eventually the mountains gave way to agricultural lands and then to the sprawling city of Buenos Aires. Having crossed two international borders (Canada/US and entry into Argentina), I'm getting used to spending a lot of time in lines and waiting for luggage—all of which thankfully made it to Ushuaia with us! As Jim mentioned, the taxi ride was an experience unto itself, but I did manage to get a few life-birds along the way.


Throw the traffic rules out the window. Drivers appeared to want to straddle the lane markers instead of keeping between them.

Tick Monk Parakeet, Eared Dove and Fork-tailed Flycatcher. Billboards advertising McDonald's burgers for $14 were a bit of a shock until you realize that there are about 4.25 Argentinian $ for each US dollar. The shorter flight from B.A. to Ushuaia was uneventful until we approached the city and could see the waters of the Beagle Channel. While Jim was analyzing the water's signature, I was thinking "Oh, man, I could be seasick before we even get out to the ocean!" Kelp and Dolphin Gulls seemed to be enjoying their speedy wind-driven flights.Tick, tick. I'm glad there are a few days for the weather to settle down before we actually depart. After dinner, a short walk along the shoreline revealed that the Ortelius has also made it to Ushuaia. Although it was 11pm, it was still quite light out. We're not in the land of the midnight sun, but we're not too far away! The city is a peaceful and pleasant place to walk around, even quite late at night. Tomorrow, more adventures!


Many of us are once again looking forward to vicariously sharing in this adventure, especially this year with the added twist of getting a first-timer’s perspective. The view flying into Ushuaia, Argentina is utterly spectacular. We will look forward to receiving your regular offerings. Safe travels.


Jim, I’m jealous!!! I’m vicariously enjoying this trip to the Antarctic. It’s bringing back memories as a staff member with Ted Cheeseman on a South Georgia excursion in 2007. Give my best wishes to Doug, Gail and Ted! Who else is on the staff for this trip? P.S. Mary and I are now settling into life in Portland.

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