Day 19 snapshots

Today is Wednesday February 15, 2006

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Suzie in Buenos Aires

We had started what was to be the most arduous part of our journey—the trip home. It was to be about 30 hours of airplanes and airports. Cramped, hard, uncomfortable seats, hours of confinement, food that would leave us with a taste of cardboard and unpleasant lumps in our stomachs.

That challenge was lightened by encountering one of the tour guides in Buenos Aires, who not only pointed out where we needed to go in the airport, but also pointed out some other members of our Antarctic excursion who were also passing through the airport! We passed the time with some of our group in a small restaurant before heading to our planes. Six of us wound up on the same plane headed for Washington/Dulles. Here, Suzie shares some information about what they did in the days after leaving Ushuaia.

Washington/Dulles to Denver flight

Much of the trip became a blur, but this was the inside of the airplane from Washington/Dulles to Denver.

We tried very hard not to misplace or lose anything on the trip. Even before we left, I was certain that I might lose the lens cap on my camera. As many times as I took it off and put it back on to take over 1200 images, I managed not to lose it. I was pleasantly surprised.

I did put one of my pens in a pocket from which it slipped out, but it turned up a day or two later being used at the registration desk on the ship. I recovered it.

We worried about different items at different times that we could not immediately locate, but they usually turned up in a different suitcase, or a different bag, or in another pocket somewhere.

As we were in a daze after ten and a half hours on the plane, on a shuttle bus after departing at Washington/Dulles, Beverly realized that she had left a pencil case on the plane. After going through customs, rechecking our baggage, we went to a checkin counter, the lost and found counter in the arrival area, and then a service counter at the departure gates where we waited for 40 minutes to talk to someone. As it became our turn, a second service representative started working the counter and called us. She called the gate where we had arrived, walked with us down there, and retrieved the pencil case. Amazing.

Colorado plains

This blurry snapshot is appropriate to our state of mind at this point in the journey. Brown, dry, flat Colorado plains from the window of the shuttle bus between the Denver airport and Fort Collins. At this point, we feel weak, sore, and have a solitary goal in mind. Reaching home.

Arrived at Chateau Smith

Even before going inside, I put the camera on the front porch and snapped this shot. It took several attempts to get this because instead of pressing the shutter, I kept pressing the on/off button. That's about the presence of mind I had after our travel marathon.

We had gotten up 36 hours before, spent about 20 hours in planes, slept fitfully if at all, and finally were about to enter our home.

Was it worth it? Most definitely. We had a wonderful time, met some great fellow travelers, learned about two continents that are rarely mentioned in local or national media, and saw sights that many people never even think about. Bedraggled and travel-worn as we are at this moment, we are glad we went and glad to be home.

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