This morning, while the majority of the passengers were still in the air en route to Buenos Aires, I took a cab over to Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve and spent several hours strolling with my camera. The reserve has an interesting history—it had been a dumping ground for construction debris, and then nature decided to take over, and now it’s an amazing green space in the shadow of the city’s skyscrapers.
I saw a lot of birds I couldn’t identify, but was lucky to encounter a couple of guides who looked at the images on the back of my camera and told me what they were. I haven’t had a chance to sort out the info they gave me; maybe I’ll post more about that another time. The coolest bird I was able to photograph was the one I’ve posted at right—I knew it had to be a bird of prey, but that’s about it. The guides told me it’s a chimango caracara. I did a Google Images search and am not convinced, but I’m sure they know their birds—especially the local ones—a heckuva lot better than I do.
By the time I got back to the hotel, the passengers on the trip were starting to arrive in large numbers. The scene in the hotel lobby Read more
I drove to Pittsburgh yesterday for the family Christmas celebration (a matinee of Star Wars followed by dinner at Bravo, then present-opening this morning), and drove back this afternoon. For entertainment on the drive, I listened to two different podcasts that touched on two very different aspects of the upcoming Antarctica trip.
A travel podcast that I consistently find useful is Chris Christensen’s Amateur Traveler Podcast, and a few months back I had downloaded a 2013 episode on Buenos Aires, the city where our trip starts. I listened to that one on the drive yesterday afternoon, and learned quite a bit:
—I learned that the Monserrat neighborhood—where our hotel happens to be—is Buenos Aires’ oldest.
—I learned that residents of Buenos Aires are called porteños (Buenos Aires is a port city).
—I learned that there’s a fair bit of European influence, especially Italian influence, in Buenos Aires. So it now makes sense to me that Read more
As I continue to daydream about the Antarctic trip that’s four months away, I’ve been thinking about our first stop: Buenos Aires. We start the trip with a day or so in Argentina’s charismatic capital city before flying to Ushuaia, at the southern tip of the country, where we board our cruise ship for the Antarctic peninsula.
I loved Buenos Aires when I did this trip 15 years ago, so I’m going down there a day early in order to see more of it. And I’m thinking about signing up for a photo tour.
Just about every major city worldwide has photographers who’ve made a business of offering photo walks—you book them to take you around to some of the best places for doing photography. You might be part of a group tour, or it might be just you and the photographer, one on one.