After spending the better part of a week with my STP brothers, working our way by ferry across the world's widest river from Argentina to Uruguay, and by plane across the continent from Uruguay to Chile, I bade my amigos farewell yesterday morning in Santiago. Though I was sorry to have to jump off the STP Express, extending my trip for the Antarctica leg just wasn't something I was able to arrange. I did, however, have a fantastic last night in Santiago, with Ricardo and the Latin Share team treating us all to a fabulous post-event feast (including the indescribably wonderful Caldillo de Congrio pictured below—a Chilean delicacy so treasured that Nobel-awarded Chilean poet Pablo Neruda once wrote an ode to the dish), followed by Ricardo’s Latin Share colleagues taking Michael, Joel, Paul, and me out on the town for some late night fun that concluded at 4 a.m. when we left the nearly packed dance club that had been our last stop. Well, the night concluded for us anyway; there were locals still arriving at the club to dance the night away to the Girl Talk-inspired DJ’s mixes when we left at 4 a.m. Make no mistake: Santiago is a city that definitely knows how to party.
As Dan, Mark, Joel, Michael, Paul, and Ricardo are currently in the air, en route from the South American summertime to the considerably chillier climate of Antarctica, I wanted to share some interesting facts I learned recently while reading A Short History of Nearly Everything by one of my favorite writers, Bill Bryson, who writes:
"Of the 3 percent of Earth's water that is fresh, most exists as ice sheets ... Nearly 90 percent of the planet's ice is in Antarctica, and most of the rest is in Greenlannd. Go to the South Pole and you will be standig on nearly two miles of ice, at the North Pole just fifteen feet of it. Antarctica alone has six million cubic miles of ice—enough to raise the oceans by a height of two hundred feet if it all melted."
We had all joked about "chillin' in Chile," but as the guys set foot on two miles of ice in Antarctica, they'll be chillin' both literally and figuratively.
Hey guys, give my regards to the penguins!