Life as a falconer, insect systematist, and double Masters Student (or a look into the mind of someone who is questionably sane).

04 January 2008

Argentina Day 2

The plan had been to meet for breakfast bright and early, call the airport to see if the generator was coming in on the 11 flight and if not take off and head north. Well Tim woke me up a few min before 7 and we went downstairs for breakfast. I had some cereal and a glass of orange juice. There was no bacon so the normal therese travel diet wasn’t complete. Chris and Dema arrived about the same time we did, but noone else was there. After a while Dave, Kathy, and Max wandered in and I went over to ask dave how much the ticket from salta to BA was. It was apparently 250 US, which is mostly reasonable depending on how much the change fee at AA would be. He said the one problem was the 15kg weight allowance could jack the ticket cost up a lot if the overweigh charge was high. After eating I asked Jason for the key to our room only to discover I was suppose to grab it on my way out of the room since I was the last one out. So I tracked down another key, went up and sent mom an e-mail asking her to check how much it would cost to change my ticket. I then went back downstairs and gave Jason and tim each a key, then grabbed Chris’s key and went to pack my stuff. On my way I was sent to make sure Santiago and Geret were awake. I pounded on their door and sure enough, they were still asleep. I woke them up then went to the room to pack. I used one of my big ziplocks to put my beer in incase anymore broke. I took the one that had been opened and ducktaped the cap in place and then wrapped that up in a second bag before putting it in the baggie. Chris walked in after a while and I asked him how difficult would it be for me to stay until the 19th? He looked at me and asked if id already changed my ticket. I told him no, I was just looking into it at this point, but if it was going to make things really difficult then I wouldn’t. He said it depended on if Dani and her friend came or not since if they did the trucks would be too full for another person, but he wouldn’t know until the 6th or 7th since Dani wouldn’t find out until after her job interview.

It was now time for the first big adventure of the trip- loading the trucks. We had 2 crew cab short bed trucks and 1 small car. Jason and Tim stuck all their stuff in the car and were planning on a 3rd passenger until it was decided that we needed all the space we could get so instead of 4,5 and 3 wed put 5 in each truck and then just Jason and tim in the little car. The packing was sort of like a jigsaw puzzle, we must have moved each piece of luggage around 3 or 4 times before finally finding a way to get everything in. While we were doing this Anna and LeAndrew made it to the hotel. Anna works on Agallinis and LeAndrew works on flies. They were suppose to have come in yesterday, but Anna’s id was expired so they wouldn’t let her on the plane until she got a valid one. Chris made an executive decision- leafhopper people (plus LeAndrew) in the small truck, Cicada people (plus Santiago) in the big truck, and NYSM people in the little car. We gave up on the generator and took off. We were packed in like sardens, but it wasn’t as bad as it almost was since it looked like we would all have to hold our backpacks until Jason found room in the car for them. It was still super tight especially for poor LeAndrew who was stuck in the back and had quite long legs. Chris drove although Dema did some driving too. We didn’t stop much although we did stop a couple times to do some sweeping. The highlight of the drive raptor wise was seeing a bunch of caracaras. They’re all over down here. We stopped in a small town and bought a backup generator incase the 110 died on us, then finally grabbed some dinner around 2000- pizza, although the meat pizza took forever to come out so I also ate one of chris’s empanadas. We decided to camp at a nearby campsite and run lights there. I got my stuff out to set up lights and with Geret’s help we got my sheet deployed. Since we had to pay per tent I asked max if I could sleep in his tent so I stuck my stuff in there then headed out to the sheets. I tried to do my normal collecting method, but soon discovered I really needed to give into aspirators and chris said he had an extra on in the truck. So I found it and after 30 min of trying finally got good enough with it to actually catch bugs. It seems like weve got a pretty good group of people on this trip, all a lot of fun around the sheet, especially once Geret and Santiago showed up with a cold beer and them, me and Chris passed the bottle around until we killed it and called it a night. I got to Max’s tent and discovered I lost my leafhopper vial somewhere. I figured it was somewhere near the fence we had to climb over going between the sheets, sure enough it was over there- tragedy averted. I slept really well, my mp3 player is awesome

Driving over a bridge. Note the lack of cups in the cup holder

Jason and Tim's car

View from the road

Looks like Texas

Field right off the road

Look familiar?

Our truck (closest to me, bed covered), and the cicada truck (farther away, and bed cover up Any time we stopped, even for 10 seconds that bed cover was opened.

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