Antarctica: 18th Dec: David vs Goliath

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Had an awesome 5 am zodiac cruise- our last day on the continent. Climaxed in a fascinating display by the local wildlife. Looks like they had planned a special goodbye show, for the alien humans loitering around.

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A gentoo penguin stuck on a little ice flotilla with a leopard seal lazily stretching on it. Beautiful duel between prey and predator. Seal opens mouth for just a yawn & the mentally challenged penguin flaps its wings, noisily running along the periphery of the float.

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Intricate masterpieces carved out of ice & glaciers are the perfect backdrop for this morning show.
Unfortunately have to say goodbye to life and begin our return journey to the humdrum bullshit.

Antarctica: 16th/17th Dec – Beauty lies in the Ice of the Boulder…

The Continental Landing:

Woke up to some unbelievable sights today morning. How can so much beauty exist in a concentrated part of earth. Everywhere I set my sight, a spectacular photo opp exists. Looks like some painter has picked up a colourless canvas and smudged it with white snow, tempered with icy blue floats and jagged brown peaks. The heart is overwhelmed with the beauty around. Wonder how the first explorers would have felt, when they landed on this white wilderness with no humans around. Just nature and its magic.

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Got the passport stamped at Port Lockroy. Excited but piqued at how we’ve induced such artificial borders even in a serene, free continent like Antarctica. British heritage, scientific, postal base-remnants of WW 2 strategic warfare in this part of the world!

Jealous of the penguins loitering around. They’ve got the best of what our planet has to offer. Truly, beauty lies in the ice of the boulder. Bought some Souvenirs at the Brit historical museum.

Paradise Bay proves that there is indeed a paradise on earth. Hiked to the top of a small hillock and then slid down. How the hell are we supposed to like any other place now?
The stunning huge glaciers hide their crevasses and run down the mountain valleys with the icebergs & floats all around at the bay. Beautiful satsrugi exposing our vessel in the background. Gentoo penguins breeding in their bright, warm summer of -10°c

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Camped overnight at the Amirante Brown station. Don’t want to sleep. Its’a strangely liberating as well as depressing feeling when a childhood dream is fulfilled… The penguins are tired & silent, and so am I..Walk up and down the hillock and get into the sleeping bag to trap the heat and dissipate the sorrow.

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Antarctica: Dracula’s Lake: 13th/14th Dec

Bid Adieu to the southernmost port in the world, Ushuaia and jumped aboard our new home, Plancius…

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As we moved away from this sleepy town and crossed the docile Beagle channel, all of us had our fingers crossed. A new environment, ship crew and a supposed monster – Drake’s passage to deal with, had us in a bit of a sweat.

The Drake Passage is the body of water between the southern tip of South America which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Southern Ocean.

There is no significant land anywhere at the latitudes of the Drake Passage, which is important to the unimpeded flow of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current which carries a huge volume of water and throws it all around. Hence the apparent rocky nature of the Dracula…

We introduced ourselves to the Dutch doctor on board who tranquilized us with chemicals. So, 2 days went in a state of trance, though luckily the Drake behaved more like a lake. Ate, slept and clicked random photos of the sky whenever the eye remained opened for a bit. Hope to touch the continent tomorrow!

Got a few interesting shots – first sighting of an iceberg and some whales.

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Death is beautiful

Antarctica Trip Day 2: Buenos Aires

Visiting a cemetery is always a surreal experience. The famed and respected people of Argentina are buried here for posterity. But why? does it really matter? Is leaving behind a legacy really that important?
Does a Gandhi, Lincoln or Napoleon really hold any relevance after they’re gone?

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When a rockstar sleeps, fame is an inconsequential concept both for him as well as his worshippers. At that point he, the pope & the street dog all are on the same plane. For that matter, sleep is the biggest leveler & hence by that extension so is death. The only reason we love to sleep & despise the elongated variant is our inability to wake up.

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Saw these 2 old gentlemen sitting here in peace, waiting for their time. Every wrinkle holding umpteen stories, joyful, tragic as well as unfulfilled dreams. When you’re so near to death, what really drives you to live?

Many questions, only silence is
the reposte given by these graves.

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Paglos pablos and a crazy Buenos…

Antarctica Trip -Day 1: Argentina

Amigos, today’s postos is gonna be a bit difficult to reados as we’re down on a couple of moijitos. A city like Buenos Aires is exactly like its graffiti stained walls. Random urbanization adding colorful chaos to the beautifully planned architecture of 16th century.

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Wonder if today’s ghettos in urban centres would offend the colonial masters who envisaged their slaves in a monumental form. BA is like a huge canvas where the portenos have added colour in terms of sculptures, graffiti and various other art forms. The city of theatres, tango and futbol is buzzing. What would be interesting though is to ask the local denizens whether they find the city of fair winds as poetic as a tourist, who’s on a relaxed vacation. The city overall not that out of this world has a happy sexy feel to it. Not the picture perfect sexiness of a rodeo drive but rather a raw imperfect appeal a la the rumba. Music, color and chilled out laziness drive this city. The graffiti too reflects the cheery, quirkiness of people unlike the angst you see in many other societies. And all this despite the socio-economic hardships over last few decades.

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Coming back to the debate of urbanization, many cities today are losing they individuality with the onslaught of cloned architecture. Some areas of BA look so familiar that I and N renamed it fort area & Connaught place in the Same breath. Anways winding down an awesome evening with R & N at the waterfront, though drowsiness ensures we’ll miss having our up, close & personal encounter with tango tonight… More lateros moi dearos senors and senoritas….

Antarctica: Day -1

Dubai: 9th Dec 2012:

As I jump aboard the trip of a lifetime tomorrow, thought of starting a daily strip-down of my inner thoughts…

Everyone has a bucket-list, conscious or subconscious and mine has the 7th continent on top of the charts.

Don’t know why I’m attracted towards the white sheet of nothingness, what am I looking for? Maybe some answers, maybe some more questions or maybe it’s just a temporal escape from this harsh world. Any which ways, spending 2 weeks in the uninhabited wilderness should be soul-enticing, at the very least.

Blackberry has been thrown into silent mode as penguins and sea birds are the only creatures I’m gonna respond to. Human life-suckers can take a hike.

So Messrs. Iceberg & co, and unadulterated life, here I come!

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Love, Fuck and Two Smoking Barrels – Amsterdam

As we sat in the neon-lit cafe smoking on the white widow, a question zonked my mind, more than the ciggie. Why the hell is Amsterdam such a huge rage for people worldwide – age, gender and nationality, be darned.

Is it because it solves some of the first world problems?

1) Love

Humans have a yearning to romanticize everything, be it historic nostalgia or nature’s unparalleled beauty. And Amstelredamme provides all this and more, be it the grid of narrow canals, the tulip gardens, the Zanse schans windmills or Anne Frank’s WWII secret house. Classical romanticism is in the air!

2) Fuck

Ok, let’s get real. Love is best left to sissies. What men want is what men get here. De Wallen is the best known red-light district in the world and is a formal tourist destination! Window shopping has been taken to a new level altogether.  Take your pick & fulfill all your carnal Freudian needs – Yes, you might be completely empty after 2 cold, strange hearts warm a bed together. But who the fuck cares, when you get a good fuck!

3) Two smoking barrels

Well, honestly even four might not be enough, especially if newcomers try out the pre-rolled light joints which are a huge disappointment…
But if potent enough, two small barrels of pure weed can help you blow away this stressful life in small circles of blissful nothingness…

So go ahead, catch that KLM flight today and have a romp with life…