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February 4, 2013

Antarctica: Entry 1


For those of you who don’t get my monthly e-newsletter (sign up on my homepage), I started this new year off with an exhilarating trip to a uniquely beautiful part of the world: Antarctica.

The first thing that shocked me about Antarctica was how truly wild it is. This is not a human world; wandering albatross with eleven-foot wingspans, Adelie penguins, and orcas rule here.

I watched a mother humpback whale and her calf feed on krill, and witnessed the cycle of life as a leopard seal made a meal of a Gentoo penguin. I was surprised to find that the animals weren’t afraid of us–they knew as well as we did that this is their place.

“Small” is one word to describe how I felt as we sailed through icy waters at sunset.

Ice formations of varied textures, shapes, and shades of blue changed completely from one angle to another, and the snow-capped mountains of Tierra del Fuego visible on the horizon were at once beautiful and ominous.

As the voyage went on, the reality of just how dependent I was on my tour guides for survival in this beautiful but extreme climate became ever more apparent. Immersed in this simultaneously urgent and tranquil world, I found kind of spirituality unique to those places that are relatively untouched by our modern world.

Stay tuned! Look out for more stories and photos from my trip soon.

Lidia

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