Archives for February, 2010

Andrew Evans explores the Antarctic Peninsula. I think weather is the only thing that really matters in Antarctica–weather and luck. And I think most every Antarctic explorer would agree with me. Scott had a turn of bad weather–he and his team perished. Shackleton had a good wind that carried him all the way to South…

Andrew Evans reflects on his six weeks of haphazard bus-filled travels, and the wonder of actually setting foot on Antarctica. You’ve all been very patient readers. Thank you. I’ve been waiting a long time, too. It’s taken me six weeks to get to Antarctica and I’ve found out that the closer I get, the less…

For Andrew Evans, passing over the Antarctic Circle was akin to crossing a sacred finish line. I’ve crossed a lot of lines on this journey–state lines, borderlines, the equator, both tropics (Cancer and Capricorn), along with the many ticket lines that stood between me and my ultimate southern goal. Out of all these lines the…

Andrew Evans offers us a glimpse inside his cabin on board the National Geographic Explorer. Anyone else feel like stowing away? Andrew Evans is tweeting about his travels aboard the National Geographic Explorer at @Bus2Antarctica. Want more? Follow the map of his journey, bookmark all of his blog posts, watch videos, and get the full…

Andrew Evans encounters his first iceberg on his way to Antarctica (while wearing a penguin shirt, naturally). Just like the very first Antarctic explorers (Ross, Wilkes, and Captain Cook), my first sign that I was getting warmer (i.e. getting closer) showed up in the form of this giant ice cube that bobbed in the sea…

After traveling through the Americas by bus, Andrew Evans boarded the MV National Geographic Explorer and set sail for Antarctica. Waiting a lifetime for your dream to come true one day–well, that’s hard. Waiting one whole day for that lifelong dream to come true is harder still. And yet, that is what must be done…

National Geographic Traveler contributing editor Andrew Evans traveled for over 45 days, taking buses from Washington D.C. through the Americas with one mission in mind: Getting on board the boat that would take him to Antarctica. Here, he describes the bliss of actually climbing onto the deck of the MV National Geographic Explorer. The world’s…

Nobody said getting to Antarctica by bus would be easy, but even Andrew Evans didn’t think he’d feel this close to death as he crossed the Strait of Magellan. I almost died on my last bus. I think it was the “almost” that was so terrifying. Never mind my crossing of militarized Colombia or dodging…

While waiting for his last bus to Ushuaia, Andrew Evans spent three days in the windy city of Rio Gallegos. Watch out Chicago. You’ve got competition. After three days in Rio Gallegos, I can vouch that its reputation for high and constant winds holds merit. For so many travelers, Rio Gallegos marks the end of…

After traveling 7,000 miles by bus through the Americas, Andrew Evans found the gold standard of buses in Argentina. As far as buses are concerned, I saved the best for last. I’m so glad. Had I started my journey on an Argentine bus, I would have been spoiled rotten right from the beginning. Every bus…

We continue with our blog recaps of Andrew Evans’ journey to Antarctica. In today’s dispatch, Andrew challenges you not to salivate after watching this video. Travel makes me hungry. After a month of riding buses I’ve learned to pack light and eat light while en route. But after 30 or 40 hours on the road,…

Andrew Evans recounts his race to reach Ushuaia before his boat left for Antarctica. One country, five buses, seven days. Argentina is a huge country. I suppose I was aware of that fact beforehand–subconsciously–but traveling the entire length of the country in person really drives the point home. Pun intended, I guess. I entered into…

Andrew Evans explores Bolivia’s vast salt flats. I can’t think of a worse torture than coming to Bolivia for the first time and then having to rush across the country in under a week. It’s like taking a kid to Disney World for the first time and then telling him he has 10 minutes before…

Andrew Evans discovers the real meaning of “rainy season” as he travels through Bolivia. If there’s one thing I’ve learned on this trip, it’s to never trust a bus. On a bus, you never know what’s going to happen. In fact, I’ve started to expect at least one thing to happen: cows, falling boulders, traffic…

Andrew Evans gets a taste of Bolivian remedies. Altitude sickness feels really weird. I’d read about before but always thought it was for the extreme travelers–climbers on Mount Everest or adventurous balloonists pushing the limits of the stratosphere. I didn’t expect to get it on the bus. To be clear, I have made this entire…

Andrew Evans provides a cinematic retelling of the story of his border crossing into Bolivia. Screenplay for a short film. All dialogue takes place in Spanish with English subtitles. The setting is the tumbledown Peru-Bolivia border town of Desaguadero, on the shores of breathtaking Lake Titicaca. Pan across the bright blue watery expanse and the…

Altitude sickness, dueling ventilation systems, popped tires and more awaited Andrew Evans as he boarded his bus to travel to Bolivia. Some buses are better than others. In South America, bus companies attract passengers based on levels of bus quality, comfort, security, entertainment, and sleeping space. When leaving Lima I chose the Peruvian bus company…

Andrew Evans offers a glimpse of skateboarding culture in Lima, Peru. As I was wandering Peru’s capital city, I found myself drawn to Miguel Grau Park in the neighborhood of Miraflores. The view of the Pacific Ocean from the top of such high cliffs is simply enchanting–and what did I find on the other side?…

Andrew Evans explains how he learned to love Lima, Peru. For more on Lima, click here. In Spanish, the word “Lima” means “under construction.” OK, that’s not true. Really, I think it derives from the ancient Inca phrase meaning “perpetual traffic.” Alright, that’s another lie–but honestly, those were my first two impressions of Lima when…

Andrew Evans gives us a glimpse from the bus as it drives through Peru’s Sechura Desert. Of all the borders I’ve crossed on this trip, the most drastic change I’ve felt so far was crossing from Ecuador to Peru. After days of lush green banana plantations and tropical lowland jungle, I entered the Sechura Desert–one…

Andrew Evans always listens to his mom’s advice, but also realizes that sometimes life has a way of bringing wonderful strangers in to help you. We’re taught to fear all strangers from a very young age–after that, the propaganda never really stops. Pick up any guidebook to any country, or worse–read the U.S. State Department…

Traveler contributing editor Andrew Evans finds the “real” Equator in Ecuador. Attention all map nerds! I am one of you. That means I go nuts about imaginary lines on the Earth–especially the Equator. Flying over the Equator is both routine and uneventful while a ship that crosses the Equator normally calls for a big party…

When Andrew Evans crossed the border into Ecuador, he found religion on its many buses. For many people in the world, religion and travel go hand in hand. No matter what you believe in, when you’re on the road in a strange country you want to be safe and looked after by someone that speaks…

Andrew Evans is traveling by bus from Washington D.C. to Antarctica, and recounts a dangerous encounter while traveling through the Colombian Andes. Not only did the Darién Gap throw a wrench in my plans for crossing into South America–the natural barrier between the two continents also marks a distinct break in the species of buses…