Antarctica February 9, 2015



  • Glad you enjoyed the empanadas and Carlitas tour. Have a great time on the rest of the trip.
  • edited February 2015
    OK, here are some more tips for you on this tour. We found out today that many of the people providing products and services in Buenos Aires will accept three types of payment. You can pay cash in Pesos, pay cash in US dollars, or use a credit card. Inflation is running about 40% here so the pesos are losing value. At dinner tonight the bill came to 540 pesos. I could use pesos so that the bill, plus tip was 540 x 1.1 or 594 pesos. Using my credit card would be the 594/8.1 or $73. Using U$ would be 594/13 or $45.69. That is a savings of $27.31. It is worth asking what the exchange rate for U$ is before buying something. Some places don't take U$, but it is worth asking if they will and what the rate of exchange is. Since their money is losing value daily based on inflation, they will take the U$ and put them under their mattress and use it when they can. The banks here charge over 20% interest on loans and pay virtually nothing in interest for money in a savings account. (Sounds like the Carter Administration, for those old enough to remember it. Although they did pay a little more interest for savings.) Just FYI.
  • Thanks for posting this! Great practical information for anyone passing through BA on their way south.

    Keep those tips coming!


  • Correction: It was the Park Hyatt Hotel we walked through that I talked about earlier, not the Plaza.
  • Not a lot happened today. After breakfast we met our Tour Directors in the morning. I took some service laundry down the street to have washed for tomorrow.

    At 1400 we went out on a two-hour tour (Unlike the USS Minnow and the famous "Three Hour Tour"). We spent most of our time bussing through the northern part of Buenos Aires. We looked at some neighborhoods, parks, polo fields, and race tracks. We got some interesting history of the city and a little about the politics. Politics, as in most Latin American countries, was approached very carefully by the guides.

    We drove by the Government Palace (the Pink Palace--you can Google why it is pink--there are several theories) where Christina is serving out her last term of office. There was no discussion of Christina on our bus....can't tell you what happened on the other ones. Our private guide yesterday was very clear about the regime of Christina and how her support is divided throughout the nation. I've heard some other countries with similar political situations....hmmm, nope won't give any names.

    We stopped at the Recoleta Cemetery. I had been there on Friday, just walking around. The guide enhanced that walk with some specific information about the creation and preservation of the grounds, tombs, and regulations in the cemetery. Obviously, we were taken by the grave of Avita Peron and a discussion of how she got there was given. Again, the politics of the events leading to and following her "rein" were carefully presented. The grave is in a generic building under the surname of Duarte...her maiden name....sort of.

    Came back to the hotel rested up a bit. The welcome reception and dinner was later. We saw a tango dance demonstration. They did a nice job....even pulled up some audience members and gave a "lesson." I think they skipped me, feeling their feet were to important to their future, gainful employment. They got my table mate Susan and she was light and quick on her feet. Dinner was beef and fish.

    Tomorrow is a tour of the southern part of town and lunch in the Recoleta region of town. Enjoy.

  • What type of shoes/boots do you wear on this trip? Already reserved boots for this trip thru Tauck but other than that do you need hiking boots for tour in Ushuaia or anytime while on the ship? Planing on wearing sandals while in BA and lounging in the ship so not to over pack. Any advises?
  • edited October 2015
    I took a pair of hiking boots that were useful in Ushuaia since it was rainy and wet. You get out of the bus on the way to lunch at a lake and it can be wet and slippery. I was going to just take some Keen's to use in Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, and on the ship, but the boots were helpful.

    Sandals will work everywhere else as long as you don't mind getting wet, cold feet when you go on the deck of the boat to take pictures.

    I brought a pair of heavy boots (similar to the ones rented on the ship), some Possum Socks (Jan suggested them and there is a website listed earlier on this post), and some thin, nylon boot liners. I had no issues with cold feet. I did not use any heaters. The temps on the landings were around 22-40º, so it wasn't too bad. The only issues were the odors.....

  • edited October 2015
    Thank you, ndvb, for your response about footwear. Could you also assist me about achieving communications with family back home? My family wants me to keep track so wondering if receiving/sending email is possible on board the ship. I might get cell package while in BA but not sure what would happen once leaving BA?

    Have had bad experience with cell service overseas in the past despite paying for it so a little tip and extra planning might be needed.

    Thank you.

    P.S. How can I contact Carlita?
  • Hi Tennislover,
    You can reach Carlita at [email protected] She's a wonderful guide. Tell her Jack and Debi said hello.
  • Thank you, Crackeroo. Contacted Carlita and we got tour scheduled.
  • Tennislover, please try El Sanjuaninos for empanadas. My favorite was the caprese.
  • I see you got Carlita's email and set up a tour. She was great! There were three of us and we all enjoyed her services.

    As for communication. The ship has wi-fi, but it isn't very fast and connections can be spotty. Most of the shipboard contact was through email. I had a cell package from Verizon for my mobile phone. I used it in Argentina. I also used it on my computer when hooked up to wi-fi to make FaceTime calls home. I think there are some other free internet phone sites too, but I used FaceTime. It wasn't always the best on board the ship, but it was fine in the hotels and other hotspots in Buenos Aires. You don't need an international plan for FaceTime.

    By the way, Crackeroo's suggestion of the empanadas is on target. It is a short walk from the hotel.

    Enjoy the trip.

  • Thank you, ndvb, for info about communications. I also have Verizon service so will sign up for the package. Have had empanadas before, I think first time in Egypt, tried different flavors and liked them. Sure to look for it in BA.

    Again, thank you so much for your responses and information you provided.

    And, Yes, I know I will enjoy this trip. The biggest item on my "Bucket List". Got 2 more left on that list.
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