Misc. Meanderings, Odd Trivia, and Other Assorted Info until the trip commences

Cincinnati Travel Blog

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Controlled Chaos - Gear Check in Progress

9/13 - The itinerary is falling into place.  Tickets are purchased, and flights are set.  Checking out the gear right now to see if I need anything to battle the cool, windy weather that is to be expected in the Patagonian region.

9/15 - Some fun flight facts (as ticketed - as the airlines say flight schedules are subject to change):

I looked at lots of flight options, but finally ended up with the most direct routing down to Miami (CVG-MIA) before connecting to South America.  Other possibilities included routings like CVG-ORD-MIA, DAY-STL-MIA, CMH-LGA-MIA, but as can be seen these all include an extra segment which is just asking for trouble with delays and cancellations.  However, there are only two non-stop CVG-MIA flights (both in the morning), which means that I have a scheduled 7 HOUR, 10 MINUTE layover in Miami before my flight to Santiago.

A little less chaotic.
  I guess you could say I have a lot of built in flexibility in my itinerary.  Anyone who has transitted through MIA, I'm all ears on the best places to eat/drink/wander around.

Will be flying LAN Airlines on the MIA-SCL leg.  Haven't seen any comments about them one way or the other over in the Best/Worst Airlines thread in the forums, so will have to report some feedback when I return.

A 7 HOUR 14 MINUTE layover on the way home in Buenos Aires.  I'll get a brief introduction to Buenos Aires during this time since at a minimum I will have to transfer from Aeroparque Jorge Newbery to Ministro Pistarini (Ezeiza) International Airport between flights.  Anyone think its worth taking a whirlwind tour of some sites in BA or save them for a future trip?

9/23 - First schedule change.  I now leave Cincinnati 15 minutes earlier and arrive in Miami 10 minutes earlier (schedule padding in effect), so my Miami layover is now 7 hours and 20 minutes. Of course what's an extra 10 minutes when you are already talking 7+ hours. :)

9/30 - Woohoo, I have seat assignments on all my flights, including my LAN codeshare flights that I could not select online.  Always makes me feel better to have seat assignments in the case of oversold flights and the potential of being bumped.  Also, I'm tall enough that a middle seat is a thing to be avoided at all possible cost.

Several family members and co-workers have been asking me what the time differential will be when I'm in Chile and Argentina.  There is a simple answer, but to find that answer took some research and is modestly interesting.  As of today Chile is on Chile Standard Time which is the same time as Eastern Daylight Time where I live here in Ohio.  Argentina is +1 hour from Eastern Daylight Time.  On October 13th/14th, Chile observes and changes to Daylight Savings Time and springs forward one hour.  Argentina does not observe Daylight Savings Time, so Chile and Argentina will now both be +1 hour from EDT.  On Nov 4, most of the United States, including Ohio, reverts to Standard Time, falling back 1 hour.  So at that point and for the duration of my trip, I will be +2 hours from EST.  Until all the fun and games happen again next spring/fall (depending on your hemisphere).

I think.

10/16 - One month to go (or thereabouts).  Found the image for my trip summary picture and to grace my desktop monitor at work - National Geographic Wallpapers.  One can only hope that I can take a single picture half as amazing as this one.  Preparations and planning galore continue.

10/28 - So today was a day of preparation with three weeks to go before the trip.  I pulled out the gear that that I am planning on taking for the trip and have loaded up the pack.  As I've been prepping for this trip, I've realized that Patagonia is truly a difficult location to prepare for (especially when some days, I will be carrying most of what I bring with me on my back).  The statement that I've read about Patagonia weather is "If you don't like the weather, just wait fifteen minutes."  I can expect conditions from the low 30's to the upper 50's; rain, sleet, snow, and sun; and perhaps most glaringly, the ever-present winds that can howl at over 60 mph (all in the same day from what I've read).

So I've packed layers, lots and lots of layers.  Probably too many layers at this point.  Tomorrow I'm going to go to the YMCA I belong to and find out just how much stuff I plan on carrying at this point.  And then I'll try again as I'm sure at this point it's too much.  I guess we'll see.

10/30 - So with a mostly full pack I decided to walk the mile and a half to the office yesterday morning.  Ahh, the joy of walking down the street on the morning of the first freeze of autumn.  A decided chill in the air as mist forms with every breath I take.  Frost on car windows requires people to get the window scrapers out of the closets for the first time in months.  People stare at the crazy idiot in his business casual slacks and hiking boots (a jacket concealed my dress shirt) lugging a burnt orange pack.  I get some odd looks as well at the office, but these people at least know, if not understand, the method behind my madness.

Weighed the pack this evening and it came in a hair under 33 lbs (main pack - 23 lbs, day pack - 10 lbs).  That came in better than I thought.  Day pack contains some of the heavier items (like a book, journal, camera (w/ extra set of batteries), MP3 player, charger, adapters, and voltage converter) accounting for the fact that even though it seems much less spacious it still is relatively weighty compared to the main pack.  Main pack is mainly clothes, toileteries, first aid kit, sandals, and other assorted gear.  I guess I could actually pack a few more layers if I really wanted to.  I don't know, need to think about it a bit first.

And they keep jostling my flights as well.  Again nothing that affects me negatively as I now have an extra 45 minutes in Santiago with my flight for Punta Arenas now leaving at 9:45 AM instead of 9:00 AM.  Some extra time to clear immigration and customs.

11/12 - Not much to report in this likely final pre-trip report.  Packed up again, and I think I'm close to being satisfied that I have enough to stay warm and dry, but not so much to weigh myself down on the trail.  Maybe try to shave a little bit more out of the gear on the final load on Friday, but other than that I'm good.  A few last items to make sure everyhting is good to go at work and making sure that all the personal stuff is taken care of as well and then I can turn the focus to simply enjoying the trip.  Here's to good weather (at least most of the time), wonderful new friends, interesting experiences, scenic views, and all that comes with the next new destination.  Next update from the road!

vances says:
Almost time to go on an adventure, Dan. getting pumped??? Sounds awesome!
Posted on: Nov 06, 2007
X_Drive says:
Glad I'm not the only person who spends so much time getting ready for a trip. Enjoy! :)
Posted on: Oct 30, 2007
kelleeoo says:
Hey! Thanks for posting your research about the time difference and dates it changes.
Posted on: Oct 01, 2007
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Controlled Chaos - Gear Check in P…
Controlled Chaos - Gear Check in …
A little less chaotic.
A little less chaotic.
photo by: vulindlela