Hello from chilly Ushuaia where the temperature is a lovely 6 degrees Celsius. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world and is, literally, the End of the World! The trip to here was a very comfortable one actually; took a flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia from the domestic airport 'Jorge Newbery Aeropuerto' and for a domestic airport it is fabulous! Really loved it! Now getting down in Ushuaia, I was somewhat prepared that the airport would be a Salalah style airport where we literally had to walk to the arrival terminal but amazingly it is way advanced than I thought with walkways and everything in place. I must give Argentina credit for being way advanced in its infrastructure than most people give it credit for. I think partially I'd have to blame myself for the misconception of reading information online and researching about the country but interpreting it in a different manner.
Reaching Ushuaia and I am met with beautiful cloudy skies and mountains that are simply breathtaking; an amazing sight for sore eyes. But stepping out of the airport to the view was something surreal, a slap of cold breeze hits your face and the reality sinks in of this adventure and the reason why this is so important. These snowy mountains may not be snowy decades from now and to help keep this amazing view intact for the future is what is at stake.
I'm currently staying at the Hotel Campanillas for a night before I meet up with the rest of the 2041 team, I was told by Tiffany, one of the team leaders who greeted me at the airport that we are a total of 80 people on board and that tomorrow is when the real challenge and fun begins! So excited and can't wait. It has sunk in people! I am going to Antarctica!
I got asked by Unicos Oman to carry a few oftheir products with me during the expedition. Given that I am an avid lover of natural products, the provided me with products from their Olive oil care line which looked absolutely cute in its packaging. Unicos means Unique in Spanish and their products are healthy high-end, and all the way from Europe. I received the Extra Olive Oil shampoo, body milk, shower gel, hand cream and soap bar. I only took with me three out of the five which were; the body milk, shower gel and hand cream and started using it from the first day I arrived over here in Argentina.
The shower gel has a pretty light consistency not thick and heavy. It lathered on very well as well and the smell has a certain oriental kick to it, so for those who love Arabic perfume and oils you’ll surely love the smell (the entire olive oil line has the same smell). I really liked it; it makes sure you’re squeaky clean without being dry. I stayed for a while after using the shower gel without applying any moisturizer to check out the moisture on the shower gel and even though I have very dry skin, it didn’t dry my skin out.
The body milk was very light in consistency and amazingly got absorbed pretty fast into my skin. Now because I have dry skin, I’d wish that it was more thicker to keep me moisturized for longer but for short periods of time, it worked well. My legs and arms felt super soft after applying it.
The hand cream is my favorite I would say, maybe because I carry it everywhere with me. It‘s lovely and is perfect for moisturizing your hands on the go.
I am yet to know how it holds up in the cold Antarctic weather but I’ll be back with another post about it in a month’s time! If you are interested in checking out this olive oil line or the other products Unicos Oman provides. Make sure to search for Unicos Oman on facebook and instagram or email them email@example.com or contact them via Whatsapp 9398 2833
Buenos Aires is really a lovely city, not that it is on my favorite list to be honest but it has this pretty awesome character to it. What’s even more amazing is that everyone mistakenly thinks that I am a Latina. I can finally blend into a society without standing out for looking different. I ain’t a typical Arab looking girl given that I don’t have those huge Arabic looking eyes, nor do I look African as I don’t have the typical big huge nose with open flared nostrils nor Asian because simply even though I rock the nose and have small eyes, I have full lips which doesn’t work with the whole Asian look. But for some reason, I fit in perfectly with this society and get people from all walks of life approaching me speaking in Spanish and asking if I’m Brazilian, oh la la! It feels really great.
So the first couple of days in Buenos Aries was uneventful had the worst jet lag ever, and to top it off ended up having the flu which was so severe I ended up feeling dizzy every time I walked out of bed. Luckily I decided to arrive a few days prior to the actual start of the expedition to avoid any mishaps on the way and boy am I happy for that decision (Thank you Daddy for the awesome suggestion!)
The hotels over here are dead cheap! So for those contemplating that it would be an expensive trip, I would say the most expensive of the lot must be the airline tickets but the accommodation is seriously super cheap. You can easily book a six night stay in a four star hotel for 100 Omani Rials inclusive of tax! And for those who are adventurous enough to stay inhostels, well guess what? Six nights could be as cheap as 14rials for the whole stay!
Once I felt better I managed to get out of bed, and roam around exploring the city, and the location of the hotel I am staying in is perfect; at the centre of most of the tourist attractions. Right behind the hotel is an amazing park San Martin Plaza, it’s seriously a breath of fresh air in comparison to the parks we have back home. Absolutely fascinating and the weather is breezy and perfect for you to enjoy reading a book, which is exactly what I did, well technically I was reading scientific papers which is a great substitute for a book!
I also managed to take a stroll down Florida street which apparently is a must see place if you are visiting Buenos Aires. It has a European vibe to it. According to what I was told, this is the place to head down for shopping and enjoy the GalariasPacifico mall which is the tourist destination mall. Interestinglyas well, this place was home to the only other Harrods outside of London but due to the financial situation in the country, Harrods decided to stay where it belongs in London. So I hit the street and the first thing that I notice is how lively and crowded the street is; live music, mannequin acts and lots of people walking around; I liked that. But then another side showed up and that’s the amount of random strangers calling out ‘Cambio cambio’ which means ‘Money money’in Spanish. Apparently these people offer black market exchange rates which are better than the official money exchange places you find in the city, now as much as it seems appealing you’d never ever know if you’ll be given fake pesos in exchange for your 100 dollar bills. So of course never ever do that! Another interesting thing to note is that if you are a man or group of men walking down the street you get approached randomly with flyers of cabarets and that sort of nightlife! I was so thankful being a lady walking downthe street because the way tourist men were cornered was ridiculous.
Anyhow the mall wasn’t as fascinating as the ones we are used to in the GCC, so I never went all gaga on it. I would actually go as far as saying that we are the kings and queens of malls in the world! I wouldn’t really shop in Buenos Aires either. I went to check what Zara had to offer as well and almost every item there are thing that I have bought in Muscat two seasons ago! Unless I am looking for leather and boy do they have good quality leather products but that’s it really. On the other hand, the weather and scenery is really something else. I am yet to exploremore of the city. Only a couple of days left till I head down to Tierra del Fuego and initiate the second leg of the Antarctic trip! Wish me luck!
Leaving you with a few photos snapped by the all new Nokia Lumia 1020
I have officially stepped foot on continent number FIVE! And soon enough number six will be on the way and I would have to make plans to visit Australia in the near future to be able to say that I have visited all seven continents of the world. It is exciting to be here. Today I managed to head down and discover the city for a bit but what I saw and enjoyed will follow up in another post.
In this post, I wanted to thank Nokia for hoping on board as a supporter to my Antarctic trip. The first leg of the trip even though was dull and absolutely LONG was a delight thanks to them. I tell ya, it was the longest trip of my life! A total of 20 hours of travel was seriously enough to get me to have secondthoughts and ponder on why I chose to do so, but then I remembered our fore fathers who literally walked during theirdays all the way from Sur to Muscat or Muscat to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Boy are we blessed with every advancement of technology. Anyhoo, back to the main reason of this post! Yes, Nokia represented in MHD, who are celebrating 20 years of being an official Nokia dealer in Oman, was super kind to offer me their brand new Lumia 1020 to be my toy during my trip along with the accessories which have been such a joy to experience with.
The main itinerary was from Muscat to Doha then switch flights in Doha to head down to Buenos Aires via Sao Paolo. The first hours were sort of boring and of course I tried catching up to my utmost ability with sleep. Prior to trip, sleep deprivation is what I had been suffering for a few days especially with obtaining the visa (which is going to be a whole rant later on when I have the time to write it down). As I was flying over the Atlantic and heading closer to the coast of Brazil; the clouds must have been the best I have ever seen! I mean seriously I have had my fair share of travel but never have seen clouds like these in perfect beautiful form with breathtaking golden sun rays highlightingthem coupled with calmness of the ocean below; an absolute spectacle, which the Nokia Lumia 1020 never failed to disappoint in the capture.
Here’s a few of the snaps from the 40 megapixel camera (you read it correctly FORTY megapixels)
And it is officially time to revive this blog back to life! Now 2013 was hectic and was a year where I found my groove back and realised how life was too short to miss out on anything. It was certainly very fun and enjoyable but here we are now in a brand new year which is proving to be the year that I have been waiting for! I can finally on my birthday (9th of March btw) cross off a life long dream of heading out to the Antarctic from my bucket list. How many people can say that?! It hasn't sunk in though; that I am actually going. But I guess sooner or later it will; probably once I board the Qatar Airways flight to Buenos Aires on 1st of March.
Watch this space ppl! Rummy is back to stay this time.
Realization later hits, when maybe the person who is supposed to share your life with you might not exist because of where you live? A traditional, cultural and religious centered country?