Antarctica Trip Notes Part 2: Flying To End Of The World And Having The Southernmost Chanukah Party In Ushuaia

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Read this first: This post is continued from “Antarctica Trip Notes Part 1: Buenos Aires+Planning And Positioning For The Adventure Of A Lifetime.” 

…I was escorted from the gate to the tarmac as the agent questioned me on what contraband or items might be in my bag.

Racing through my mind was whether they had put 2 and 2 together and realized that the bag they told me couldn’t be checked to Ushuaia was found going to Ushuaia. I was not looking forward to spending time in an Argentine prison over this…

On the tarmac we walked to a station with an X-Ray machine where several of my checked bags were waiting. The officer there said that they were tipped off that there may be illegal items in my bag and asked me to open them.

We went through each item in the bag, and I showed him that nothing was against regulations for Ushuaia. The officer was reasonable and agreed that everything seemed in order, but the airline employee then said that Aerolineas has a policy that bags with liquids, even if frozen, must be completely sealed in plastic wrap. I offered to take the bag to have that done, but was told I would not be able to make the flight.

In the end, the only things that were taken away were several bottles of milk and a jug of oil that didn’t last for the 8th night of Chanuka in Ushuaia. Luckily though, the milk was spread among several bags and those made it through to Ushuaia just fine. Plus DDF member chff, was able to stop by a grocery store and pickup some bottles of milk during his connection in Buenos Aires.

I shudder to think what would have happened if all of our frozen food was confiscated…

I made it back to the gate in time to catch the last bus from the terminal to the plane:

The Aerolineas Austral E-195 was not in good shape. A member of our group sitting in front of me in business class had to swap seats as his seat was broken. There are no kosher meals available on domestic flights.

Some members of our group went to Luba, located in Chabad of Recolata, for lunch during their connection and said that the food was amazing:

 

 

The approach to Ushuaia is stunning:

 

Ushuaia airport:

 

The infamous prohibited foods in Ushuaia:

 

3 planes pulled up when we landed, which overwhelmed the small baggage claim area with 1 belt. Customs randomly picks bags to search and about half of our bags were searched, though of course nothing problematic was found.

We checked in 18 bags, however only 16 bags arrived. Luckily none of the frozen bags were lost, as one of those bags had dried food and another had clothes.

DDF member chff wound up locating our lost baggage and brought it to the hotel when he arrived later in the day.

We booked 27 rooms for our group at the 5 star Los Cauquenes Resort as well as transfers from the airport to the hotel and our driver helped us with all of the baggage:

 

Los Cauquenes Resort:

 

Rooms in the hotel are quaint and fit the area (known as Fin del mundo, or end of the world) well. It’s well worth paying to upgrade your view here as it’s amazing:


 

End of the world beer:

Working on the trip we have 2 caterers, a mashgiach, as well as Moishie Hersko and myself.

The kitchen staff got to work on preparing dinner, while Moishie and I prepared gift bags for each of our guests:

 

Each gift bag came with:

  • A stuffed penguin wearing a yarmulka and tzitzes with our logo on it.
  • A siddur with our logo on it, with the nusach that each guest had marked as their preferred nusach when they signed up.
  • A Shabbos zemiros
  • Chumash and slichos pamphlets.
  • A Chanuka lighting pamphlet according to each guest’s nusach.
  • An iKippah with our logo on it, available in 3 different sizes that may or may not have been chosen based on the nusach selected 😉
  • A menorah with gelled oil and beeswax candles for lighting on the 8th night.
  • A pack of chocolate Chanuka gelt

DDF member Moishebatchy flew my Mavic Pro to take some photos of our hotel:

 

 

Most guests arrived at the hotel at about 8pm and we went right into a scrumptious dinner of grilled chicken medallions prepared in advance by L’Orchidee Traiteur:

 

No Chanukah dinner would be complete without Latkes and donuts!

 

Moishebatchy, our resident mashgiach, gave one of the southernmost siyums in history:

 

 

Guests enjoyed the view from our dining room balcony:

 

The sunset was truly breathtaking:

 

We welcomed everyone to Ushuaia and marveled at what a diverse crowd we had. From Modern Orthodox to Litvish to Chassidish to Chabad and from guests in their 20s to their 70s, we really had all walks of Jewish life represented.

The expressions on everyone’s faces were similar. Many said they that had to pinch themselves to believe they were actually in Ushuaia, about to take the first organized kosher cruise to Antarctica!

Menora lighting with a view:

 

Capturing the scene from outside with a Mavic Pro:

 

Maariv in Ushuaia:

 

Shacharis in Ushuaia:

 

Breakfast in Ushuaia:

 

Moishie whacked his head into the top of a doorway, but still managed to give photography lessons while delicately balancing a bag of ice on his head. These are apparently the things you need to worry about when you’re 6’8″.

 

After eating breakfast and taking a boxed lunch to go we checked out of the hotel and hired a taxi to drive us around Tierra del Fuego National Park.

The park is nice, though nothing spectacular. Truthfully, the view from our hotel room was probably nicer.

 

“End of the world” train:

 

The post office at the “end of the world” will stamp your passport and mail postcards to anywhere in the world:

Tierra del Fuego National Park:

 

After taking a 3 hour tour of Tierra del Fuego we went into the city:

Hawking goods in the streets of Ushuaia:

Nearly all stores in Ushuaia close between 1 and 5pm for a siesta, but the Freddo ice cream store was open. They have cholov stam ice cream and delicious parve sorbets:Distance from Ushuaia:

 

We checked in for the cruise at 1:15pm, but we had to go in an insufferably hot bus rather than just walk onto the cruise as they needed a head count. We just missed getting onto the first bus when it filled up just before us, so we got onto the 2nd bus. In the end though the 1st bus ran into mechanical issues and the 2nd bus got there much earlier.

When we boarded the boat we and heard several versions of bad news. Ushuaia had run out of fuel and all of the cruise ships were scrambling for solutions.

Some crew members said that we would need to stay docked in Ushuaia overnight until they could truck in more fuel. Other crew members said we would make a stop in Puerto Williams, Chile to refuel. Other crew members said we would go to Antarctica and fill up there. Other members said we would have to take a 2 day diversion to the Falkland Islands to get fuel.

Nobody could seem to get a straight answer, but it was clear that something unusual would need to be done.

To be continued…

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79 Comments On "Antarctica Trip Notes Part 2: Flying To End Of The World And Having The Southernmost Chanukah Party In Ushuaia"

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Debbie

Again with the suspenseful endings!
Im enjoying your serial story….I think it should be published!

Arye her

Finally……..
From the pictures on Instagram I guess you ended up going to falkland island

J

If you managed the Falkland islands as well on this trip…. Wow just wow.

Ak

Beautiful pics. Thanks for keeping us posted! Can’t wait to hear how Iy”H it all works out.

Cholentfresser

Were you schlepping food for the cruise, or only for Ushuaia?

Shoshana

Wow. .. Sounds like an amazing trip. Would love to find out the next time you organize a trip. thanks.

ABC

Great pictures. I’m impressed, already part2!
I’m still waiting for part 2 of your Svalbard journey.

Ash

Awesome! All that frozen food was for ushuaia? I thought there food for the boat came from Montreal

B

Dan don’t keep us in the dark
Gluck!

V

Wow. Sign me up for your next trip…

Do you have regular wifi?

Ruchie Me

Luving this!

Joe

Suddenly someone realized that with 24 hours of sunlight they could power the boat with solar energy. Problem solved.

14,000 solar panels are in transit.

Beirish

Wow, sounds like loads of fun. Stunning pictures. Enjoy. Please keep us posted. Stay safe.

Nj

Love your writing style. What an adventure!

Cholentfresser

I’m really enjoying these articles and pictures. Keep em coming! It’s looks like you’re having a blast!

Yankel

Wow amazing photos which camera do you use (besides the drone)

Photographer

Wow! What amazing food! Which pots do you use?

Heidi

Can’t wait for the next installment.

Zaidy

officially jealous!!!!

Aaron

Please bring some penguins back to CLE with all your empty luggage’s….temp is just about right for them here 🙂

Work-for-ur-muny

אוי מושי נעבעך…
You could have taken your belt from Cuba to hold up that sack of ice…
In all seriousness, רפואה שלימה, and I hope the worst part of the trip is already behind you ppl.
ה’ ישמור צאתכם ובואכם!
Wish I could have been there. Thanks Dan for being prompt with the installments!

EZ

A frum Cuba would be an awesome trip to see organized! I know Mr. Hersko has been there already, but for a closer, quicker, logistically easier, and wallet-friendly trip, I’d love to consider my attendance.

TGIShabbos

You two seem like a great fit for making travel excursions. Next up should be consideration for an exotic Pesach program. Somewhere else besides the typical FL, Arizona, and the Caribbean would be more exciting.

Rediplus

The Sony mirrorless camera of course

Brandi

Any chance that the passengers will at some time be able to send pictures? So far they aren’t able to.

C.l.b.

Anyone know of moishe hershko the photographer have an Instagram account to see his photos ?

Zac

Amazing. One question, though. Why Selichos?

Work-for-ur-muny

10 Teves

chaim

asara bteves

Savingsbigtime

Asura btevus

E

10 teves

Yochai

Amazing! The end part actually sounds like LY002

Yoni

That explains the ice on Moishes head…

Ahmad Ali

AWESOME STUFF DAN!!! Keep posting!! Looking forward to hourly updates!!

Carl M Sherer

Awesome pictures. I’m envious….

But please post a map. The distances didn’t quite make sense. I thought Ushuaia was on the southeast coast of Latin America. Not sure that fits with the distances posted (and shocking to see that Buenos Aires is more than 3,000 kilometers away – no idea it was that far).

Ted

Looks like it’s going to be a memorable trip. What is an ikippa?

EZ

The ice cream looked really good. I personally don’t keep Cholov Yisroel. But, is it true that outside of US/Canada you can’t rely on Cholov Staam (according to Rav Moshe Feinstein)?

Oy vey.

A better way to word your statement would have been ‘I’m not makpid on cholov yisroel,’ but to say you don’t keep it, assuming you keep kosher, is not an accurate statement.

If you don’t keep cholov yisroel you don’t keep kosher. Cholov yisroel is not exactly optional. What makes the difference is how one defines cholov yisroel. Unlike non pas yisroel (i.e pas palter), there is no such concept in halachah as non cholov yisroel being kosher. What R.M.F.Z”l defined as ‘cholov hacompanies’ falls into his definition, (some may say kula,) of cholov yisroel.

Cholov Stam is a modern term invention, meant to imply Cholov Yisroel, but not mehadrin. And while Rav Moshe’s psak was for the US, that doesn’t mean another posek can’t apply the same rules outside the US.

Disclaimer: The above is all stated as to my understanding of the issue. I openly welcome anyone who wishes to correct my understanding.

EZ

When I asked the question earlier I was typing on my phone in bed. Take a deep breath. Certain phrases are generally used very generically and not in their 100% appropriate context. I’m talking about “driving a car on shabbos is MUKSA”= incorrect usage of the word. “Pretzels without a hechsher are TREIF”= Incorrect usage of the word. See where I’m going with this? It is widely acceptable for me to buy a gallon of (generically termed “Cholov Staam”) milk at a WalMart in North Dakota. But, my question is– is generally sold milk acceptable for frum Jews to drink outside of the US and Canada from a Kashurus perspective?

Oy vey.

And you can walk along the streets of Jerusalem and get Glatt Kosher Pizza, so do you see where I am going with this? It’s people that perpetuate these misused terms, no need for you to continue it… 😉

And so I believe I answered your question…

“And while Rav Moshe’s psak was for the US, that doesn’t mean another posek can’t apply the same rules outside the US.”

‘But, my question is– is generally sold milk acceptable for frum Jews to drink outside of the US and Canada from a Kashurus perspective?’

So to elaborate, the short answer is NO. The long answer is you need to ask a Rov who knows about the government requirements and local regulations of the milk supply in the country you are buying the milk.

Yet, the ice cream being ‘cholov stam’ is not relevant to the question about milk. Ice cream needs to be produced and distributed under hashgocho.

the rebbe

der inyan fun chalav akum iz an inyan vus iz beemes shayach lshem challav yisroel mit ein un eintzige oisnan nisht azoi vi chalav yisroel mamash vicayoizei bazeh kemudaber kama paamim , vac

Shaytm

Checked the location of the ship and figured you should have been farther South by now. Guess an unplanned stop in the Falklands would explain that.

Klotzkop

Hotel had no issue with people lighting candles?

Qrt

They probably did. Didn’t you notice the penguins and th סליחות? This was a distraction for the hotel.

noah32

This is so strange. I had (and still have) absolutely no interest in going to places like this. I also don’t usually enjoy trip reports. (I avoid them on DDF).

However, I can’t get enough of this. The writing style, pictures, and storyline is just captivating. Can’t wait for part 3!

sam

me too. I usually dont read any trip reports, but this one is a sure winner!

Judah

i am travelling along vicariously with these posts

lindnuck

Wait, do they take siesta at some point between 1-5pm, or do they take a FOUR HOUR siesta?

Qrt

Sure it’s a 4 hour siesta. What would you do at the end of the world?

lindnuck

Fair point. How many sales do they really lose, right? 😉

Moshe szimonowitz

Thanx.Im really enjoying. Enjoy! Im sure theres alot more in store.

AH

Hi Dan,

Hope you enjoyed your trip. Looked awesome. Love ur site.

Question. I got banned from chase and I am trying to figure what would be the next best credit card and points system to use for flying to Israel?

Thanks. If anyone else has the answer feel free to respond

AS

When will we hear some more updates?

Shmuel Bloch

Waiting fir an epilogue on your trip Dan!!

Joe

Any update on the trip?

katnip
Shimon

Any update on the story

Mk

+1

Avi

Still waiting for Part 3!

Ira

The crazy thing is that had you advertised that PM Harper would have been on the ship, you would have sold out in minutes from lobbyists just to get access. You could have doubled the price.

Sam

Where does it say Harper was on the ship?

D

where’s the update of the rest of the trip…..waiting…..

Chaim

Dan
When are we getting the rest of the trip notes? The suspense is killing us.

Myi

You missed the chananka coins which were given out.

Great TR. Thanks Dan and the co.

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