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Stauchy Blog » 2008 » June

Archive for June, 2008

Even in Kenya…, June 6, 2008 (LAS)

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

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We finally made it to Africa (and the blog finally indicates that)! Before we get into the really good stuff, we have a funny story about one of our first nights in Africa… (more…)

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There’s No Place Like Home, Mar. 24-June 3, 2008 (JRS)

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

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After being in Antarctica for 13 months and traveling for 6, we were, to say the least, very excited about getting back to the US to visit friends and family that we hadn’t seen for over 1.5 years. It was a big sigh of relief as we boarded the plane from Easter Island to LAX (via Santiago and Lima). Over the next couple of months we visited LA, Maui, Georgia, Colorado, and DC.

Our first stop was LA where we met up with a lot of our friends from out time there. We did a Brown Bag presentation at JPL and Parsons about our time on the ice and our travels so far, which seemed to be well-received. It was so great to be somewhere familiar and to see our good friends once again (not to mention get some Coldstone Ice Cream and a Bloomin’ Onion from Outback, just a couple of the many cravings we satiated during our 7 days there).

We then spent a glorious 11 days in Maui (it’s good to have friends who live in Maui). We caught up with our very good friends who lived just down the street from us in LA. We did a bit of touristy stuff and we did a lot of just chillin’ with our friends and relaxing, recovering and re-energizing from our travels.

After that we had a night back in LA, a brief stopover (and lunch with my brother) in Denver enroute to Atlanta where we spent 3 weeks. We spent some time with Lynette’s family (it was so great to re-connect with family after such a long time away), but spent most of our time at the Motorcycle Shop that Lynette technically owns, but really her brother, Joe, runs: Bad Boys House of Cycles.

080417s_ga-1.jpg (Bad Boys House of Cycles showroom)

080426d_ga-12.jpg (By the fire on Lynette’s mom’s property in GA)
Our next stop was Colorado for about 10 days where we visited my Dad and Company there. They have a beautiful new house in the Black Forest just outside of Colorado Springs. It feels like a cabin out in the woods, but is only a few minutes from town. We also caught up with some friends from Denver (although not as many as we would have liked since we, as usual, put off sending out a “get-together” email until the last minute).

080504d_co-0.jpg (the view from Jason’s Dad’s house)
Finally, we went to Washington DC (we had planned on going to Austin, TX, but my Mom and Step-dad ended up having to move to Phoenix before we were able to visit them - luckily we were able to spend some time with them in DC) for my brother’s graduation from medical school. It was a great time there as all of my family was there to celebrate. We then spent an extra week with my brother and his family and had a great visit there.

080517d_dc-2.jpg (the two of us with Dr. Stauch)
Did I say finally… we actually decided to push back our departure for Africa by a week and go to Georgia (partly because I had a major anxiety attack about heading to Africa with absolutely no plans, and partly because we had some unfinished business to take care of at the Motorcycle Shop). After a mad-dash-drive from DC to GA to DC and a quick stop to pick up our passports from the Indian Consulate, we boarded our flight to London and onward to Nairobi, refueled (although a bit apprehensive about living out of a bag again) and ready for some great new experiences in our RTW trip!

-JRS

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Blues Defined, Mar. 18-22, 2008 (JRS)

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

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After Ushuaia, we had a couple of days in Santiago, which was really enough. We were traveling on fumes, both really anxious to get back to the States to see our friends, family, and just familiarity. Despite that, Easter Island turned out to be a great 5 days of relaxation to end the first half of our Round the World adventure.

080319s_ei-37.jpg (more…)

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El Fin Del Mundo, Mar 12-16, 2008 (JRS)

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

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Dubbed as El Fin Del Mundo (the end of the Earth), Ushuaia was pretty much the one place in South America that we didn’t plan out too well, and it ended up biting us. We had to catch a flight from El Calefate to Ushuaia, then a flight to Santiago, via Buenos Aires, which wasn’t too cheap. To make matters worse, since we re-entered Chile via the Santiago International Airport, we were both stuck with a $130 entry fee (the only entry point into Chile that requires the entry fee). Long story short, if we had it to do over again, we would have just left it off the itinerary, and we wouldn’t really have missed out on much. (more…)

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El Chalten, Mar 7-10, 2008 (JRS)

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

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When I was planning the Patagonia part of our South America trip, most of my efforts went towards Torres del Paine, which generally had to be booked in advanced for the high season. The tiny hamlet of El Chalten was really just an afterthought, but after reading a couple of posts on the Thorn Tree, we added in 4 days here, and couldn’t have been happier about it. A cute little town, gorgeous mountian scenery, nice backpacking trails, and best of all, free camping!

080310d_elchalten-20.jpg 080309d_elchalten-5.jpg

(more…)

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Lynette’s Birthday in Argentina, Mar 5-6, 2008 (LAS)

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

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After a great trip through TdP, we jumped on a crowded and uncomfortable mini-bus across the border into Argentina.  Not a great way to start Lynette’s birthday, but who can say that they have a passport stamp from Argentina on their birthday!

080305d_elcalefate-3-5.jpg (more…)

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Torres del Paine, Feb 29-Mar 4, 2008 (JRS)

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

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We arrived in Puerto Natales after our cruise with Navimag, ready to put together a trip through Torres del Paine, one of our expected highlights of our trip.  We had settled on the 5-day W-Circuit, as opposed to the 10-day full circuit, since we really didn’t have the extra time to spare.  So, once again we downsized our packs a bit and took to the trail.  It certainly didn’t disappoint.  I’m not sure that I would put it up against the Milford Track in New Zealand, but it certainly wasn’t just your average walk in the park.

(more…)

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Crusin’ Chile, Feb. 25-28, 2008 (JRS)

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

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Something we got from our trusty Lonely Planet, South America on a Shoestring, was information about a budget (well, sort of budget) cruise from Puerto Montt, in the middle of Chile, to Puerto Natales, in Southern Chile.  The three day cruise took us through a nice network of fijordlands with impressive views that just got more impressive as we made our way south.

Here’s a pic of our boat and us on the last day of the cruise:

080228s_navimag-40.jpg  080228s_navimag-19.jpg

(more…)

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Bariloche, Feb. 17-24, 2008 (JRS)

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

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A little bit of Swiss Alps in the Andes, Bariloche was the location we settled on for our time in the “Lakes District” on the border of Argentina and Chile (about half way down the border).  Situated on a georgous lake surrounded by dramatic mountians, its a very cute little town and we had about a week to explore it and the area surrounding it.  We decided on a three day backpacking trip (the most difficult we’ve ever experienced, turns out) and some time to chill (and unfortunately deal with a bad stomache bug).

080221s_bariloche-0.jpg  080219d_bariloche-76.jpg (more…)

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Puerto Madryn, Feb 15-16, 2008 (JRS)

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

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Puerto Madryn is situated near the Valdez Penninsula, which is known for its diversity of ocean-based wildlife (whales, dolphins, sea-lions, penguins, etc).  We spent a day at the Valdez Penninsula and a day at Punta Tumbo, just south of there, which had a colony of over one million penguins (according to the park ranger).

081215s_pennvaldez-7.jpg  081216s_puntatumbo-12.jpg (more…)

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Buenos Aires, Feb 12-14, 2008 (JRS)

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

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Mike decided to join us for our time in Buenos Aires, so we spent three days exploring the surprisingly modern and safe city. Portenos (residents of BA) are stereotyped throughout South America as being conceited and that they look down upon everyone else. What we found was more of a pride of who they are and an unexpected happiness considering the rough times that Argentina has encountered in recent years. The city itself was wonderful with a wide variety of districts, each with their own flavor. As the Tango capital of the world, we of course had to see a Tango show while we were there as well. (more…)

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