Well, we are off once again… this time to see a man about some penguins. Antarctica!
Trish and I keep pinching ourselves – I can’t believe we are actually doing this. Antarctica is on just about every traveller’s ‘Bucket List’, and it’s usually one of the hardest ones to tick off. Apparently, Antarctica sees only 34,000 visitors a year, which is not a lot when you consider Disneyland gets around 44,000 visitors a day.
Anyway. We had an uneventful transit – unless I count the quite severely damaged suitcase that greeted me in Buenos Aires. Seriously, every corner was dinged in and it looked like it had been used to play football on the tarmac, but thankfully the bottle of port inside was safely intact. I’ll be having words with Air New Zealand about that – a decent Samsonite suitcase is well around the $300-$400 mark and they just throw your shit around like it doesn’t matter at all. I’d never buy really expensive luggage that was ever going to be checked on a flight. But c’est la vie. It turned up, which is better than the other most common travellers’ luggage problem, which is standing around the luggage conveyor belt wondering where the hell your suitcase is. 🙂
Border control and customs were uneventful too – well for us… saw the most ridiculous thing I have seen at any immigration control desk (with the exception of Russian immigration officers signing official paperwork for Chinese tourists by putting a pen in their hand and pretending to sign on their behalf, that is) in a long time. There was an over-coiffed, overdressed, overly made-up American lady trying to get through passport control and she was being asked to put her right thumb on on a scanner but was unable to comply – because of crazy long acrylic fingernails! And by ‘crazy long’ I mean 3″ long fingernails? She was literally unable to lay her thumb flat on the scanning pad. The lady customs officer was unimpressed and took the issue to her supervisor – we could see them all laughing over the ridiculousness of the situation behind some frosted glass. And those of us still standing in the queues were wondering if she was going to be refused entry to Argentina because of her fingernails! Eventually, the customs officer came back and processed her with very ill temper without the scanned fingerprints – my guess is she wanted to come out and hand the silly woman some scissors…
Anyway, we got through the airport with minimum hiccups, a little guy with a sign bearing our name was waiting for us just outside – always love that, and it was off to find our hotel. We are staying at 725 Continental which is really well located in the centre of the city, and has huge rooms… 14′ ceilings and a bedroom about 5m x 5m, which felt like a startling contrast when compared to the shoebox we encountered in Shinjuku after walking off our last long-haul flights into Tokyo!
We were all a bit stuffed, so we pottered around a bit and went for a walk down Florida Avenue to find something for dinner. Stumbled upon a local restaurant called Havannas, with a guy playing easy listening tunes on a saxophone and Italian food… so naturally we walked in and ordered empanadas – as you do.
Early night tonight and hopefully an easy day tomorrow.