Archive for the ‘Maps & GPS’ Category

Back Home Once Again On Bonaire

March 13th, 2010 at 4:59 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

After almost exactly five weeks of travel The Traveling Richters finally made it back home, in a trip that spanned the South American continent twice, touched below the Antarctic circle, and went as far north as Atlanta, Georgia, where we connected from Miami this morning.

It’s going to take a while to get used to the humidity and heat here on Bonaire, but it will be welcome.

Even more welcome will be hooking up with friends visiting Bonaire this week, including new friends Doug and Erin whom we met in Charleston around New Year’s, and old friend Todd with his significant other Jenna (whom we’ve not met in person but corresponded with) when they come in via a cruise ship later this week.

I had hoped to post a GPS track from Miami to Bonaire, but we didn’t have a window seat from Atlanta, and our GPS wouldn’t read satellites from the middle of the plane.

I am still planning on getting more photos from our travels posted here in the coming week. Now that I have a real Internet connection I should be able to get more photos on Flickr too. So please stay tuned.

And for those of you who asked about our next big trip – no idea yet. Krystyana is off to China for most of July with National Geographic, and we’re not sure what we’ll be doing, but if you have suggestions, let us know.

 

GPS Tracking – Ushuaia to Miami via Bolivia and Peru

March 9th, 2010 at 1:20 am (AST) by Jake Richter

I guess we were more tired than I thought. The 17+ hours of time in transit over the weekend (not counting the couple of hours it took to board the plane in Ushuaia after leaving the ship) wore us out.

After picking up a rental mini-van in Miami early yesterday morning, we rented a hotel room just to sleep for a few hours, did some important shopping at Walmart (extra luggage, among other things), and dined on spicy wings at Hooters (I’m a big fan of hot wings, and in fact have one of the top 10 recipes returned by Google for “buffalo wing recipe”). We then moved on to our final hotel in Coconut Grove for the rest of the week, where we happened to bump into a couple of our fellow travelers, by coincidence.

I’m getting my notebook motherboard replaced tomorrow, but hope to have time to post some more pictures as well as write something up for the folks at Lindblad while I wait for the repairman to show up.

In the meanwhile, below is our GPS track from Ushuaia, which took us to a refueling stop in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a refueling and crew change stop in Lima, Peru, and then our eventual safe landing in Miami, plus our running around there.

This will be our last GPS track for the current expedition (unless I decide to include one for our return to Bonaire on Saturday).

 

GPS Tracking – The Path To Great Lamb BBQ From Ushuaia

March 6th, 2010 at 7:37 am (AST) by Jake Richter

Considering we were not even supposed to still be in Ushuaia yesterday, the folks at Lindblad Expeditions have been taking marvelous care of us – allowing us to remain in our cabins on board the National Geographic Explorer (which was supposed already have been several hundreds of miles away en route to dry dock in the Canary Islands), feeding us, entertaining us, and even providing us with free drinks. That will end later today as we get on the Miami Air charter (which Lindblad has also arranged for us at no charge) to get us to Miami. No other tour company I know of would have done all this for its guests. Kudos to Lindblad Expeditions!

The tour we were treated to yesterday was over the closest part of the Andes to Lago Escondido, and more specifically, to a small restaurant called Villa Marina, where we had wonderful BBQ lamb done in the local style, slow roasted for four hours (see photo in previous entry). Great scenic vistas and explanations of the geology and topology of the area by our guide along the way as well.

The GPS track for our Lamb BBQ quest is below in case any of you make it here, to the end of the earth (Fin del Mundo):

 

GPS Tracking – A Day In And Around Ushuaia

March 4th, 2010 at 8:21 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Our unexpected full day in Ushuaia turned out quite nice. We started with a visit to the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia, located in the former prison which had been the core of the foundation of Ushuaia as a penal colony a long time ago.

We then wandered through the main shopping and restaurant portion of downtown Ushuaia – lots of tourist goods, a large number of restaurants offering all you can eat buffets (we didn’t partake), and tour companies offering trips to see penguins (been there, done that).

Lunch required busing to Patagonia Mia, a restaurant near the entrance of the Tierra del Fuego national park. While not bad, the meal we had there was perhaps the most disappointing of the trip – they only offered fish (cod) as a main course (we managed to get a breaded beef filet for Bas), and it was bland and uninspired. Quite a contrast from the diverse and almost universally great food we’ve enjoyed aboard the National Geographic Explorer.

After a quick stop at the ship, we took a two hour bus ride to Estancia Harberton. Estancia means “ranch” or “farm”, but while Estancia Harberton used to be a sheep farm and place where firewood was harvested, today it’s more of a historic site. On property is also the Museo Acatushun Aves y Mamiferos Marinos Australes, the Museum of Birds and Marine Mammals, which features the world’s best collection of marine mammal skeletons and skulls. Pretty impressive, although we had limited time available to truly appreciate the collection.

Our final dinner aboard the Explorer awaited our return.

We’re now just about thoroughly packed and ready to get up before dawn so we can leave Ushuaia just after dawn. We hope to be in Miami late Friday night at a hotel Lindblad has arranged for all of us on the charter. On Saturday we move to a nice hotel in Coconut Grove, a trendy area south of downtown Miami.

The GPS track for our day in and near Ushuaia is below.

 

GPS Tracking – Arriving in Ushuaia

March 4th, 2010 at 6:50 am (AST) by Jake Richter

Not much more to add to our post below. We arrived in Ushuaia last night. And we’re here for another night.

GPS track on how we got here is below:

 

GPS Tracking – Carcass Island and New Island, East Falklands

March 2nd, 2010 at 10:22 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Today was the last real day of our three week voyage, and we spent it in the East Falklands, specifically at Carcass Island and New Island. It was a gloriously sunny day, apparently a rarity around here, and Krystyana and I enjoyed a nice long nature hike in the morning as well as our first real sighting of Magellanic penguins, and then in the afternoon we visited a multi-bird rookery on New Island.

There we saw rock hopper penguins, nesting shags, and nesting black brow albatross.

We have lots of excellent pictures and I hope to post at least some of the photos of the last couple of days while we’re at sea tomorrow (which is also when we pack).

We arrive in Ushuaia on Thursday morning.

The GPS track from today is below. We are traveling east to west on this track, just in case that’s not entirely clear.