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- For regular updates related to my travels, guiding work, film and book events or you are simply wondering where the heck I am at the moment, please visit: Travel/Guiding/Adventure blog.


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Cheers and thanks for your interest. Hayley

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Drama on Terra Firma

A valuable lesson arrived the moment we stepped foot on terra firma.  "Katie (my film producer) perhaps you need to sit down for this update".

The Prince Albert II arrived alongside in Ushuaia in late evening on March 25th.  I woke to what I thought was a magnificent sun rise that was streaming through a tiny gap in my curtain.  In my half wakened state and camera in hand I rushed outside to capture the new-born day, and laughed when I discovered that the bright orange blazing sunrise was actually city lights.

It was soon time to place our bloated bags outside our cabin to be taken by ship crew to our pickup destination.  I placed my 3 duffles and bag of electronics, all named and labeled alongside the wall of the corridor.  We noticed, when returning from breaky that the bags had been removed which indicated our cue to disembark.
Passengers approached us and wished us good luck with all our future endeavors,  staff said their farewells as we expressed our gratitude for them having us on-board.  We had the opportunity to thank the captain personally, and I was chuffed (uber pleased) to receive his gratitude of our 'interesting' company.  "You brought much to our passengers, thank you". 

Once outside we loaded our luggage on the trolleys to walk them out of the port and into a taxi. Suddenly my stomach fell all the way to my toes when I noticed one bag missing.  The electronics bag, the bag with ALL the VIDEO FOOTAGE.
Trying to remain calm I found Robin (expedition leader) to tell him of the missing piece.  As usual in this type of situation those around offer words of comfort.  "Oh it just got mixed up with the other passenger luggage and it's probably on the buses to the airport".  Or "lets check your cabin once again to make sure you haven't left it in there", "you will get it back". And usually I tend to look at the positive, optimistic side with these kind of situations.  However I can not even describe the disheartening feelings and thoughts that went through my mind.  I felt so strongly, that my bag, with all the video footage was gone forever.

When we discovered that the bag was not found on the ship, I immediately took a cab to the airport "rapido por favor" I said to the cab driver, holding back a bucket-full of tears.
Once at the airport I looked through the 'Red tagged' luggage. No bag.  I found out that some luggage had already been directly placed on the plane from the luggage truck and therefore someone went to check for me.  No bag. There was only my truck to go through, all those bags were labeled with blue labels.  My orange label can not have been mistaken for a blue one, surely.  There was little hope left.
All of the footage, gone. My entire story, gone.  Every inch of South Georgia captured, gone.  All the dramas, emotions, ups and downs filmed, gone.  Feeling sick to my stomach, I put my head in my hands and cried having no faith that my missing bag would be recovered. 

I glanced up from my crouched position and noticed a man walking towards me, grinning.  In his hand he carried a bag, identical to the one I had lost.  As he handed it to me I recognized it as mine and without hesitation I wrapped my arms around his stout body "gracias, gracias", gave him a kiss on both cheeks, now feeling embarrassed and wiped the tears from my eyes.  As I walked out I thought to myself.  "How attached I had become to the footage, to my story, feeling as though after the challenging times and unfortunate events, it is all I have to work with, to tell my and the Albatrosses story". 

How on earth I let that bag out of my sight, I will never know, however the lesson was obviously necessary and valuable.  I now have the footage backed-up 3 times, each hardrive is in a different place with one of them pinned to my body 24:7.
I can just imagine Katie shaking her head. 

It was one of the calmest days I had ever seen in Ushuaia.  The reflections of the jagged mountains that surrounds this picturesque city gave us double the beauty and breathtaking scenery.  It feels as though we have arrived to yet another home, safe n sound on terra firma once again, with a few days to organize ourselves and gear before the flight to Buenos Aries.   We may even take some hiking and camping gear and spend two days in the National Park, hangin with the trees, getting our bodies and souls prepared for the Pacific Northwest, our rainforests of home. 


katie said...

Oh my gosh! my heart skipped many beats reading this posting but now that my aneurysm is over, I am (yes) shaking my head with a smile. oh hayley! travel safely home. xoxo Katie

Kerry said...

Katie is not the only one who was holding her breath! In text we say, "OMG!!" and "WTF?" But like any soap opera, we knew that this one would have a happy ending! You need a vacation! Come see me in Florida.

Anonymous said...

Yike. I have never one of your post so quickly wishing to discover that you had found the bag! Whew. James and Claudia.

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