A Journey to the last frontier on earth ... Antarctica

A Journey to the last frontier on earth ... Antarctica
Antarctica is a continent of extremes. It is the coldest, windiest, driest, and iciest of all the major landmasses on earth. It is also one of the last true wilderness areas left in this modernized world- literally unchanged since the early explorers first landed on its inhospitable shores less than 200 years ago.

I had the good fortune of taking a journey to the northern part of Antarctica Peninsula on board a cruise ship M/V Orlova for 10 days in January 2004. We departed from Ushuaia, Argentina, sailed south for 2 days across the notoriously stormy Drake Passage with its perpetual 20-foot swells to reach Antarctica . My bad experiences of sea-sickness were fully compensated by the sheer beauty of the scenery. Nowhere on earth have I witnessed such pristine atmosphere, breathtaking ice-choked waterways, blue and white icebergs and rugged snow capped mountains.

Our tour group spent the whole week in visiting various islands and beaches on the Peninsula, trekking on snowy hilltops, surrounded by colonies of penguins or isolated fur seals. We were particularly lucky to be graced with good weather at temperatures not lower than minus-4 degrees C. Two scientific stations were also on our itinerary for us to acquired first-handed accounts of the harsh life on this inhospitable continent.

On the whole, our trip can be summarized as adventurous, educational and very enjoyable. The return voyage back to Ushuaia, Argentina was equally stormy. But that did not deter our determination to re-visit Antarctica again in the future if given a chance.
Contributed by  Chan Yun Lam

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