So I guess you have noticed that Karl are here!
He is pretty good at speaking Spanish ;-) which i really is really convenient for Terry and me.
Karl is back in his hometown Punta Arenas for the first time in 20 years! He has been looking at his old home and his old school. He think it is great to be back, there’s quite a few changes here, but a lot is also as he remembers it to be. The only thing is that he remembered all as being bigger (familiar wit that :-))
We have had a great packing process. Before going to the ALE (flight & logistic providers) meeting we had been finished it all after a mammoth 24 hours stunt. And everything had also been weighted in. We were spot on which is good as every extra kilo cost a small fortune in overweight.
The Ale meeting was as usual nice, lots of great pictures (and a few bad ones... notably frostbites). We got to meet the others that are going out on the same flight.
After the meeting we went to meet the Magelan statue on the square. That is important, if you kiss the foot it means you will return to Punta in good health – which is high on out list of wishes… (I only took pictures with Karl and Terry’s camera... sorry.)
Back at the hotel they came to pick up the gear on time. We weighted in at 45kg each, and then the waiting game started. We had so sit stand by at the hotel till they got the go ahead from the met guys.
The gear check-in. Every gram counts. We were spot on with our allocation, - thus the broad smiles...
The first call was 1830, then new time was set to 0200 in the night, which is a pretty unusual time. That was because they believe the weather could deteriorate.
After a big dinner downtown by the shore, we waited and waited. Karl and Terry were truly excited, they both had a hard time sitting down, I guess there was lot of tensions. Their stomach butterflies were roaming around in every corner of the body.
At 0200 the cal came, spot on time. "Hi, this is Tyson. You are on for a pick up at 0250".
This was extrordinary good news, we were not on schedule we were ahead of it! When did that happen last time? The bus came in time, and suddenly my two new good friends were on their way to Antarctica. At 0500 in the morning I heard the ilyushin plane roar over the city and head for the Drake Sound that separates the Southern tip of South America from the Antactica.
The sound is quite spectacular. The whole thing reminds me of astronauts going into space, - but this is the "Skionauts" I guess.
I truly hope our Skionauts will enjoy Antarctica as much as I did - it is different in a good way.
Cheers - Bengt
(Bengt will now take a walk in the stunning Torres del Paine National Park before returning home, - we get the feeling he was very envious of Karl and Terry and wanted very much to go with them. - Next time, Bengt. The Home base)
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The suspence and long wait is over. Time to board the plane for Antarctica