Posted 3 years ago at 6:38 pm. 1 comment
I should back up and start from the beginning.
I was sick for two months before the trip. The night before our flights, I was doing so poorly that I wasn’t sure I’d make it on the flight. I went to the doctor two hours before we had to leave, and he gave me some super-strong antibiotics (levaquin). Armed with about half a pharmacy in my carryon, I was ready for the trip. Paul Byrne showed up at our house, and Craig’s dad came to get us at 9p.
We got to LAX pretty early and managed to avoid the bodyscanners. We all were planning to opt-out anyways. We killed some of the time at a sports bar. Our first flight was on Copa, which was a shitty Panama airline. We all were seated in the exit row, which was nice. I was supposed to stay hydrated because of my bronchitis but the service people pretty much ignored me for four hours. I even hit the attendant light at some point. When breakfast rolled around I finally got something to drink. All of the food was really horrible airplane food. We didn’t realize til the last meal that there was free booze, too.
We hired a van to take us from the airport to our hotel, Ayres Porteños Tango Suites. It was in San Telmo, Buenos Aires, apparently the land of hostels. Many of the hostels had Tango in the name. Ours was painted up with vibrant murals in the rooms, and had some surreal looking statues scattered around. Michael Lim was staying around the corner but I remembered the name of his hostel wrong and we never found it. Calling him just got me to a an automated message of a lady rattling off some spanish. I emailed him and told him to meet at our hotel in the morning, and that worked. He was there at 10a.
We told the hotel to get us some taxis but they never showed up, so we eventually went out to grab them ourselves. Our driver got really really close to some other cars, as all drivers in Argentina tend to do. At first glance, it seems that there are no laws on the road. I saw a sign that made me think we were supposed to be at Terminal C, but the driver tried to drop us off at A. He realized that was wrong and dropped us off at B instead. The other taxi was nowhere in sight, and our luggage was split unevenly amongst both of them. We waited at C a bit, then sent a search party out for the other group. Eventually we got all our people matched back up to their luggages, and got in line for the Aerolinas checkin. Aerolinas is the domestic airline for Argentina. It’s like Southwest but much, much worse. As we were in line, someone shouted at us.. it was XBS and Methal! Awesome!
Our flight had been moved to 11a, but then got delayed 45mins, so we sat around eating Argentinian pastries. Methal and I spotted a Quark tag on some luggage owned by a teenage girl reading a Harry Potter book, so we went over to talk to her. She was gonna be on our ship and was traveling with her mom (from NY) and her Scottish penguin-loving grandma.
The flight to Ushuaia was uneventful, but as we approached the airport we saw incredible snow capped mountains and glaciers. People come from all over the world to say they’ve been to the bottom of the world, and Ushuaia is a magnificent place to visit. The airport looks like a log cabin, and we were greeted by our drivers quickly. They took us to Hotel Albatross, which had nice rooms. Wifi mostly works in the bar and lounge, and not very well (when you have a group of 17 internet-thirsty people). I think when we got to the hotel we saw Nous, Nkryptr, Jon McClintock, Adam Ceccheti, Adam Lathers, Shadow, and Octalpussy.
We stuck around for a briefing and ended up at a sit-down place for a fantastic seafood dinner. The area is famous for snow crabs and lamb. We got our own room. Then we wandered over to a coffeeshop and ate these amazing penguin meringues.
Jon and Adam had befriended the bartender, so we joined them at the bar. He was the best bartender I’d ever seen. He made Dave a venison martini!!!!
So it turned out that he was also a DJ so we agreed to go watch him spin at 2a. Meanwhile I’d gotten a Facebook message from Ushuaia Electronica, and they VIPed everyone in our group to a rave at 4a. So to kill time we went to an Irish pub, Dubliners. For some reason David Moon really wanted the tshirts they had, but they were sold out. He asked if he could steal the one on their wall if he could have it and they said yes. But they were kinda mad when he actually tried.
We went over to Dreamland, which was a very small bar. It had a low stage, which I tripped over. Broke a camera lens in the process, so I ran back to Albatross to drop it off. Then I walked Dave and Craig to their rooms. It was 4:30a so I grabbed Jon, Adam, Adam Lathers, the DJ bartender guy, and Stacy (a random girl we met who was going on the trip).
The venue looked like a nondescript two story building, across from the Hacker cybercafe. Kids were milling around outside. They wouldn’t let Adam bring a bag without checking it, and it had camera stuff in it so he took off. The rest of us went in.
It seriously felt like a 1997 rave. Old house music, smoke machines, strobes, lasers. Some people were in costumes; I spotted a Fred Flintstone and a mad scientist. The dancefloor was enthusiastically packed. This party was 100x better than the last one. Some kid saw my penguin hat and asked to borrow it for a pic… I reluctantly let him. He had like 10 people cheering him on as he put it on and danced. It must be weird to see a new penguin item in a town that has more penguin knickknacks than anywhere else in the world. We gave them glow bracelets, which went over well. Since getting at least a couple hours of sleep was a good idea, we didn’t stay long, but it was awesome to know that people can party at the bottom of the world.