Adios Seattle, Bienvenidos a Argentina!
Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
57Trip End May 2010
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- Get temporary insurance to cover us until our permanent insurance for the US kicks in
- Get travel insurance to get medi-vacc'd from a country into the States if something serious happens (don't worry, moms, we're just being overly safe!)
- Do one final pack of our bags and weigh them to be sure they're under the 50lb limit
- Make a couple copies of our car keys and drop off the car on the East Side at a friend's house (thanks, Dave!)
- Use up my gift cirtificate to get a massage and acupuncture right before the flight (thanks, Mike!)
- Check in for our flights
- Cancel our cell phones
- Get one last haircut the way I like it before I have to try to tell someone in Spanglish how I want my bangs done...
The list goes on, but at least we had the chance to go to Vantage to go climbing yesterday with our friends Tim, Carrie, and Steve (who's visiting from Japan). So, in a way, we kicked off our 15-month trip locally. While some climbers mock Vantage as a climbing destination for it's over-exaggerated chossy rock, Vantage carries special meaning to Ben and I. It's the first climbing trip that we took together; it's where Ben and I faked our first proposal on April fools (sorry again to some of you who became victims of our prank!); and it's the place where Ben succeeded in his birthday challenge of climbing 29 pitches for his 29th birthday. Besides, it's one of the only places in Washington you can climb year round.
The air was cold and the rock was like ice when we arrived at Vantage at 9:30am, so we did as all Vantage climbers do in winter and headed to Sunshine Wall. The first climbs were still very cold and our hands kept getting "screaming barfies" from numbness. Being a desert though, the sun warmed the area after the first climb to about 50 degress and the rock radiated heat, leaving us to forget it was mid January. We all had a great day of climbing. I finally lead Jigsaw Direct on the Moonshine Dihedrals, a 5.10B bouldery sport climb that I've been too pansy to lead in the past. And Ben redpointed Insinuating Bliss, a pumpy 5.11B that's also on the Moonshine Dihedrals. Hopefully we'll be able to get pictures from Steve to add to this blog.
Ah climbers. They can ramble on about climbing all day...
Our flight changd a couple days ago, so we now have a 5 hour layover in Houston. Greaaat. I'm going to use this as an opportunity to read as much of Bad Times in Buenos Aires as I can before arriving in Argentina so I can get a feel for the place.
We arrive to Buenos Aires on Thursday and will be staying for the first two nights at a generous local's place, El Mehdi, that we met on the Couch Surfing Network (http://www.couchsurfing.com/). We'll be having dinner with him and some other travelers the first night. Couch surfing is such a great way to travel on a budget if you're even remotely social because you get to stay in a place that is usually going to be far nicer than a hostel, and the host often takes on tours, all for FREE. Not to mention you get the chance to build a relationship with someone and learn intimately about an area's culture. Ben and I love it and hope to do this as much as possible in the city.
So for now, goodbye Seattle, and thank you. Thank you to our families, our colleagues, and our friends, for all your support and generosity. We truly wouldn't be able to take this trip of a lifetime without you.
Ben and Lindsey