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I'm an Aussie who likes wandering all over the world but keeps coming back home to paradise and my family. If you are reading this on one of my travel blogs, I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed creating them. If you are reading the Diabetes and weight loss blog - I hope it helps in your battle with the beast. Cheers, Alan

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BA to Sydney via the Edge of Antarctica

Please click on any picture to see the larger version.
Travel Date 5th-6th May 2010.

I don't post a lot of pictures taken through the aircraft portholes, but these are a little different to the usual.

The flight from Buenos Aires to Sydney appears short on paper. Take-off is at 2 pm, arrival at 5:50 pm. But that is deceptive because it is actually fifteen hours long, crossing many time zones and the date-line. The flight stewards treat it like a night flight, with most people closing the window covers and settling down for a snooze shortly after take-off. But not me.

If you look at a standard Mercator's projection map of the world you might think a flight from BA to Sydney heads straight across the Pacific Ocean, crossing Chile and heading for Sydney via Tahiti and the top of New Zealand. But that is also deceptive. In fact, the shortest route heads straight down the east coast of Argentina, passing over Patagonia and Tierra Del Fuego and skirting the edge of Antarctica.

I was glued to the window, fascinated by the terrain we passed over. This is some of the most inhospitable land in the world. And also some of the most inhospitable seas. The channels between the islands of Tierra Del Fuego hide the remains of many ships and their crews from the sail era.

Then the skies slowly changed colour; it was like flying through a pastel rainbow.

Slowly, the sea turned from the blue of the deep ocean to the ice-blue of the great ice-sheets of the Antarctic fringe, dotted with icebergs. The size of these icebergs is so enormous it is difficult to describe. At one stage we passed over a ship that was not far from a berg. It was like a speck; just a dot compared to the iceberg near it. Unfortunately, I missed that photo.

Each berg had a corresponding ice-free lake in its lee. I think it is created by the currents as the berg becomes an ice-breaker, pushing against the surrounding ice sheet and leaving clear sea in its wake.

Most people hate long flights. I must admit I enjoyed this one. It helped that, as usual, the Qantas service and food was excellent.

And so the journey around South America ended. I had a fascinating time; some day I may return. But there is still so much of the world to see...

Cheers, Alan

1 comment:

  1. Hello from San Diego, California. I've been to Sydney some years back, it was pretty cool. Still finding my way around on my new blog, making friends and what not, so hello! Enjoyed your blog.