An expat Californian building a new life via the tango in Buenos Aires since 2003, including information on learning the tango and where to dance it in Buenos Aires.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Enduring Antarctica

Argentina is far, far from home for most expats who live here and the tango tourists who visit. Some of us are able to travel a bit and experience more of Argentina than Buenos Aires. And some folks come this far south because they have a passion for Antarctica. (The closest I will probably ever get is rounding Cape Horn on a cruise ship, as I did last April.)

Londoner Jenny Diski writes about her trip to the end of the world in her excellent memoir, Skating to Antarctica, and also about the ill-fated and brave expedition of British Ernest Shackleton and his ship, the Endurance, on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914.

During Diski's cruise, the documentary film of Shackleman's historic voyage was shown to the passengers, and Diski's writing about it sounded so fascinating I looked it up on YouTube. It's there, in 11 parts, and well worth the effort of viewing. Amazing dramatic footage of brave and strong men and their dogs, and of the ship breaking up in the pack ice. Especially memorable was watching the men hauling the ship by ropes through the ice.
Watch Endurance, Shackleton, and the Antarctic.

If we are interested in Argentina, we owe it to ourselves and to the country to know something of its history, including the Falklands, the islands of South Georgia, Elephant Island, and Antarctica. Not all of us have a burning desire to see the South Pole, but while we are relatively "close," it's something to think about. And read about, and above all, to know about.

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