The Long Swim Back to Florida
Numerous people have asked how did we get back from Ushuaia. Long swim jokes aside. Here’s how it happened.
Finishing in June to avoid cycling in the coldest part of the year was the goal. Also, Andrew’s job started again in August so he needed some time to transition to “normal” life.
One way airplane ticket hunting began while in Chile. The prices were ridiculous. An accidental search of a round trip ticket rendered a much cheaper price. So we booked the round trip 1-stop flight from Ushuaia to Miami, FL through Aerolineas Argentinas.
After a month more of pedalling we arrived in Ushuaia with plenty of time to spare. 2 days before the flight we purchased 2 bike boxes from Ushuaia Extremo. It took a crusade to find boxes for our other gear. Staff told us used boxes would be easy to find but no stores had any. Eventually we asked where boxes were sold. Only 1 store sold small filing boxes. So back to the streets we went, eventually finding boxes large enough a few hours later.
The airport was about 6 km from the hostel. Much too far to walk with our packaged goods. Our wonderful hostel staff was eventually able to find someone with a truck that agreed take us and our boxes to the airport at 6am on our flight date. We were warned by the staff that no one likes to wake up early in Argentina. So if the truck wasn’t there at 6am to get on the phone quickly. Our flight wasn’t until 9:00am so this allowed extra leeway in case the driver didn’t show up.
The driver was punctual and check in at the small Ushuaia airport was a breeze.
There are 2 airports in Buenos Aires and our second flight departed from the other one. No worries if all you have is a backpack. But with 2 bicycles and 3 large boxes we were dreading the transfer.
To our delight free luggage carts awaited us in Buenos Aires and the clearly signed shuttle stop was less than 30 yds from the luggage belts. With fingers crossed we hoped for a large shuttle. A full size bus arrived.The first staff member said that the boxes were too large. A second employee told the other that they’d easily fit and placed the boxes with room to spare in the under bus storage. Whew bullet dodged!!
It took over an hour to cross the dense city and arrive at Ezeiza Airport. Free luggage carts again. Our Aerolineas Argentinas staff member was very friendly. He informed us that we had to carry our oversized boxes to the loading area and led the way. Unfortunately, if you don’t like soccer, the Colombian national team’s belongings were in front of us to be checked in. And they had lots of gear. Fortunately, we are sports fans and had plenty of time so we took the opportunity to chat with the Colombian soccer staff.
After a few movies, naps, and meals we arrived in Miami from our overnight, direct flight. Being a US citizen meant a much shorter customs line.
We opted for a 5 hour one way minivan ride to Tampa for a savings of over $500 compared to air travel. Our Dad and his friend Bob took us from there to Brooksville.
Thanks to all involved it was a much, much smoother process than expected.
We are currently in the process of writing a book about the adventure. Stay tuned to End 2 End Adventure for more stories. If you’d liked to be notified by email when new posts are added to the website then please sign up as an E2E Amigo.