This well traveled tourist has seen a large part of our planet. This ninety-one year-old has now visited Antarctica too. She didn't rely on second-hand images from television or magazines, but rather, she went there herself. During her two previous trips to the area, she'd not seen Antarctica. This time she was actually able to view it. They flew over the land, but never landed.
As she traveled over fjords, glaciers and mountain peaks, she was able to see this ice-covered area. They even got as low as 300 feet above the land. Fog shrouded one mountain range they flew past. The flight had perfect weather; it was clear and the sun was shining. They flew through sub-zero air, even though it was just at the end of the Antarctic summer. A scientist who was conducting Antarctic research served as tour guide and lecturer on the flight.
One of the things this lifelong birder really wanted to see was the penguins. She didn't see any on the flight, but her daughter did. The daughter was sitting at a different window. They visited the Falkland Islands, near Argentina, on a cruise ship. She was finally able to see hundreds of Magellan penguins when she reached the East Island of the Falklands. She had to take a smaller boat there. These are the tallest of the penguins.
The two traveled for 16 hours by air from the US to South America, where the cruise left dock. They visited many South American ports and then were asked if they'd like to swim in the ship's pool. She is now the proud owner of a certificate stating that this ninety-one year old took a swim, even though the air temperature was only thirty five degrees.
They then docked in Chile, drove to Santiago, and flew to Rio. The cruise, which was three weeks long, had ideal weather. All passengers saw the Southern Cross, a notoriously difficult to find constellation, in the clear night sky.
She'd been to South American prior to this trip. Our ninety-one year-old tourist centered her visit on a major river cruise and one big city. She returned to the rain forest surrounding that major rivers and witnessed the severe destruction that had befallen it in the few years since her last visit. She worries about the loss of bird habitat. She even visited Africa and went on Safari. A past trip to left Antarctica as the only continent she'd not visited. She finally visited them all with her recent trip to Antarctica.
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