Christmas dinners and Antarctica.

N.B. This web site will revert to pictures of vans stuck in mud, tales of mechanical failure, poisonous insects, corrupt policemen, missing ferries etc. in the New Year. In the mean time...

One of the many nice things about La Pista del Andino Camping is that they serve a great Christmas dinner upstairs in the club house on the night of the 24th of December. Most overlanders very sensibly take advantage of this.

Question: Why is Clive sitting on his own?
Answer: Hover your cursor here!

  1. Nobody wanted to sit with him.
  2. He is waiting patiently for the queue for food to clear.
  3. He is first back from the queue for food.
  4. He is waiting for Ann to bring his food.

Naturally, being British (and Canadian) we had to have a "proper" Christmas dinner on the 25th as well. This dinner started around 11:00 and went on until about 23:00, with breaks for sleep and walks. All three vans contributed to the feast and this involved considerable logistic complexity.

Judy is making hummus from tinned chick-peas. Mick is delivering ingredients from Mel to K-Nine. Clive is delivering ingredients to Mog. Mo is remaining calm, very calm! Ann is trying not to show her deep horror at the contents of the bowl delivered by Mick. Mo prepares to serve up the results in Mel, the only van able to seat six in comfort.

Question: What is in the tin that Clive is delivering?
Answer: Hover your cursor here!

  1. Peas.
  2. Carrots.
  3. Brussels Sprouts.
  4. Octopus.

A magnificent, traditional Christmas dinner was produced and enjoyed with a variety of fine Argentinian wines.

Christmas presents were exchanged, opened and admired.

Christmas music was endured.

One of the other reasons for coming to Ushuaia is to visit Antarctica.

Most trips from Ushuaia last eight or nine days and cost between $3000USA and $6000 per person for a basic cabin. The price is a function of when and how you book. The travel agencies in Ushuaia advertise low last-minute prices and then try to drag out the process of booking for as long as possible (e.g. "Come back at 8:00 tomorrow", "come back with the original of your medical insurance/passport", "take these forms away, fill them in, then come back at 15:00", "head office is not answering the phone"). The object is to minimize the chances of the customer going elsewhere and maximize the chances of making a full-price sale in the meantime.

If the agency fails to sell the place at full price, then the price of the "last-minute" deal can be increased at the last minute by adding a "fuel surcharge" and/or 5% for using a credit card, or simply raised by $500USA. You should expect some or all of these tactics!

The best known agency to book last-minute Antarctic trips with is Rumbo Sur ( We used them, we suggest you shop around!

The best customer tactic seems to be to go early in the morning with your passport and medical insurance, negotiate your deal and then insist on filling in all the forms, paying and getting your ticket before you leave the agency. Remaining seated in front of the agent's desk and complaining loudly about each delaying tactic seems to to work! Expect to be there all day. Two teams in different agencies with cell phones might be an advantage.

Mick, Mo, Judy and Stephen are (we hope) going to the Antarctic on the 2006-12-29. There will probably be no web site updates for about two weeks. Clive and Ann are exploring the area around Ushuaia and then heading slowly north.

Stephen Stewart.

Home - This page last changed on 2007-01-03.