Trees! It has been over a week since we have seen trees. The protection from the winds that the Beagle channel provides has given us a smooth return ride. The landscapes around us are so familiar with their colors and deep green forests. We have been in a white and gray world. Even the water often had a gray cast. It is strange to not see huge icebergs. Where are the entertaining penguins? It is as though our lives opened to a new world where beautiful landscapes and unusual animals filled our senses. Now we are back in the world of people. Cars, trucks, coffee shops and restaurants line the streets. Black top has replaced the guano-covered rocks and beaches we walked. The Zodiacs and kayaks are fastened in their berths.
We leave with so much more than our luggage. We leave with the direct experience of wilderness. For a brief slice of our lives, we stepped outside of the world dominated by humans. We soaked in the beauty, we opened ourselves to the power of nature. We leave with something special. This inner place we now know, firsthand, Antarctica.