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Strange Reunions

Posted by on July 11, 2010

My flight from Buenos Aires was delayed an hour, so I wandered around after doing the last update, and decided it was time to eat. Walked upstairs to the food court and saw none other than Daniel Berry walking towards me! Although we are both going to El Calafate, his flight is via Barioloche and doesn’t get there until tomorrow – we had no idea both of us would be going through Buenos Aires airport at the same time!

So we sat down for some food, poor Daniel has lost his luggage to Qantas somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Probably on The Island (Lost). As a result he arrives in El Calafate tomorrow with an iPad, some DVDs, his iPhone, and the clothes on his back. And he’s wearing shorts. And it’s about zero degrees down there.

Mid-conversation an American chap walks up and asks “El Calafate, eclipse?”. This was odd, as we were currently making bets on unrelated social events. On the one hand, we were among the few Europeans in sight, on the other hand it was still quite an impressive deduction.

Turns out they’re what Marshall, Pascal and I in Siberia had termed “fanatics” – people who travel to random places more than once* to see an eclipse. I explained we’d met people like them before; those who had been to six or seven. He holds his fingers up – “this is number ten”. They were in North West China when I was in Siberia, and have been to eclipses in Africa, Europe, Asia and South America. Unfortunately they cancelled their berths on a boat in Tahiti to instead charter a plane over El Calafate – only to have it canned three days ago due to the plane suddenly inexplicably ‘needing repairs’.

Anyway, we said farewell to Daniel, and headed for the flight – will see him tomorrow.

*footnote – it occurs to me that by that definition I now count as a “fanatic”. I’m rephrasing it to be people who travel to random places “several times” to see an eclipse. And besides, I was coming here anyway…

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