Homeward bound

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Sunday 26th March 2017 – Ushuaia to Buenos Aires

We awoke to the final dulcet “good morning” announcement of our beloved expedition leader Beau, and after one last delicious breakfast disembarked the Plancius, our home for the past week, with heavy hearts but excitement for communication with our loved ones in Ushuaia. Whilst half of the group headed for the nearest WiFi signal, the rest of us took a three hour walk around the sleepy town of Ushuaia, soaking in the high culture of the only establishments open at 8.30am on a Sunday: souvenir shops.

Penguins in Ushuaia…. (photo Naomi Tuhuteru)

We spent most of our remaining dollars on “End of the World” branded shot glasses, searching in vain for stamps for our many postcards and befriended the local dogs. Then we headed for the airport for our 2pm flight to Buenos Aires, waving goodbye to the beautiful mountainous landscape of Ushuaia.

Aerial view after leaving Ushuaia (photo Emily Mosely)

We were warmly welcomed by our lovely guide Alicia in Buenos Aires who brought us back to the hotel Dazzler. Following quick naps and showers we headed to La Costilla for our final group meal (minus a few who were too sleepy!). They fed us well on excellent Argentinian steak and even free Prosecco to the extent that we all rolled out of the restaurant. While some headed back to the hotel, a few of us kept on rolling to the local Soho Palermo watering holes.

Group dinner at La Costilla in Buenos Aires – even the vegetarians were well looked after, and that in an Argentinian restaurant named “Rib”!

Monday 27th March 2017 – Buenos Aires to Scotland

The following morning, whilst some were feeling energised and rearing to go, others (not naming any names…(Sam)) weren’t feeling their best selves thanks to a local delicacy some call “shotsssss” (Petroni, 2017). Once we arrived at Buenos Aires airport, to prepare for the 3.45pm long flight we enjoyed the freedom of stretching on the floor by the gate and tried to settle in until go time. After thirteen hours of watching films, sleep deprivation and asking the person next to you to stand up so you could go to the bathroom, we had a quick change-over in Amsterdam giving us an hour to practice our Dutch phrases taught by Naomi (which all turned out to be dirty). The last stretch of the journey was a short flight to Edinburgh after which we quickly had to say goodbye to some of our expedition buddies (EMMS students) who would continue their travels west to Oban, whilst the rest of us headed back east to St Andrews.

Describing this expedition as a Trip of a Lifetime is an understatement: we’ve experienced astounding scenery, unbelievable and personal wildlife encounters and made friendships that will never sink (get it?). We want to say thank you so much to Larnja, as we have lovingly named our lecturers (Lars and Sonja) who have made all of this possible. Next up: making group shirts and giving a seminar at St Andrews, and hopefully at some point in the near future a reunion (at the Union?).

St Andrews Group 2017 in front of MV Plancius

written by  Naomi Tuhuteru and Emmie Moseley

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