I'm on a very long bus trip this moment. And I just learned that on the road we should have taken a lorry felt over and we therefore must take a 4 hours detour. The trip will be about 21 hours in total...
Yesterday the Interski Conference finished with a great final show.
But for me the most touching moment was on Thursday evening when members of cross country and telemark teams had been invited to have an Asado (BBQ, I got vegetables and eggs) with a family from Ushuaia. I think everybody of us underestimated the meaning of this reunion a lot. The family runs a snow sports school near Cerro Castor, Ushuaia's ski resort.
As they don't have any fellow professionals in their proximity it was their deepest wish that the Interski Conference is not only going to take place in their town but they could also participate. To welcome this “international elite”, as they called it, in their town and to share ideas and experiences was a great occasion and honor for them. With exchanging gifts and holding talks the evening got really touching. If it would only be this single experience of hospitality and passion it would have been totally worth to come to the end of the world!
After the final presentations yesterday our team had dinner together and we watched a first edit of my photos.
Afterward I had to pack my luggage because the bus today left at 7 am.
As I have already written this is a very long bus trip. But I'm enjoying that the first time since I'm here I have no fully scheduled day. To travel by bus gives you also a sense of the huge dimensions of this country and let's you perceive the changes in the landscape.
To travel to Rio Gallegos and then to El Calafate we are often on gravel roads. The land is almost flat and only grass and sometimes bushes grow here. There are sheep, some birds and some guanacos. The wind is incredibly strong, the bus is rocking.
By the border crossing we had to get stamped our passports in Argentina and in Chile. We also had to declare that we don't transport animal or plant products and our hand luggage got x-rayed. The trunk has been sealed.
We now arrived at Bahia Lomia where we have to pass the Street of Magellan by ferry. I just learned that some people here are waiting for already three days...
And a little bit after I think we got stuck too. I was told that we can't leave today because of too much wind and heavy waves. About 5 hours later we luckily can leave by ferry. I don't have the impression there are less waves but as it is dark now you can't see them...
After a good trip to Rio Gallegos we arrive there at around 11 pm and of course there aren't any buses today. So we call a hotel and book a room for the night. To get there we need two taxis because the taxis here are very small and they're not really prepared to ski luggage. At the hotel I sleep so well and enjoy the breakfast on the next morning. This after having had only some crackers on the bus for a whole day...
At 12 o'clock we finally have a bus to El Calafate. I sleep for the most time. Once when I got awaken I catch a glimpse of the snow coverd Andes far away and see some guanacos.
The youth hostel here in El Calafate seems to be ok.