Journey to Antarctica offers lessons in adventure and friendship - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Journey to Antarctica offers lessons in adventure and friendship for two Louisville men

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Joe Geoghegan isn't one to stay put for long. He's currently living in Australia, will be moving to China next year and spent much of last year making his way to Antarctica.

"I had known for a long time that I wanted to do a big trip and had been saving up in the background to do something of this nature," said Geoghegan.

WDRB caught up with him during a brief visit to Louisville. It marked one year since he set out to make his way to the end of the earth.

"I called Noah in July, and we left in October," said Geoghegan.

It didn't leave a lot time to plan a trip that took Geoghegan and his high-school friend Noah Horowitz on the incredible trek from Louisville to the South Pole. The catch? No planes.

"I've always been interested in traveling slowly. I think you get to meet a lot more people that way," said Geoghegan.

Instead, the two set out in a car painted like a shark, an old Dodge Intrepid that Geoghegan inherited. 

"There was no reason really. It was something we just came up with and we were joking around and we followed through with it," he said.

It got a lot of attention as the duo made their way over the border into Mexico.

"A lot of kids would be like 'Tiburon! Tiburon!' when they were walking down the street," said Geoghegan.

The 15-year-old car wasn't the most reliable.

"But as soon we got across the Mexico border, the car started overheating constantly and so we were stopping every five miles to douse the engine with water," he said.

The two made it to Mexico City by the Day of the Dead, which is November 1. It was also in Mexico where they found themselves in trouble with the law.

"They pulled us over with the intention of finding something that they could extort us for. And we ended up paying a small bribe to them. It was the only bribe we ended up paying the entire time," said Geoghegan.

The two headed out to the beaches of Mexico, then into Central America where the shark car found its forever home -- a Guatemalan orphanage run by a Kentucky friend -- the Hope 4 Tomorrow Children's Home.

"So we stayed with them for a little while getting the car processed, playing with the kids. They're doing renovations on the home so they can take in more children," Geoghegan said.

They celebrated Christmas there before pressing on via boat and train. They hit Panama, Colombia and Peru, never knowing what they'd encounter.

"We got stuck in the middle of the desert walking through, attempting to find the Chilean-Argentine boarder," said Geoghegan.

They finally reached their ultimate destination, the tip of Argentina, only to encounter a final road block. A longer than usual summer season meant a jump in prices to Antarctica.

"They generally go for about $2,000 at end of the season because it's colder and choppier, but because of the longer summer they were staying around $6,000 and it was a little out of our price range," said Geoghegan.

While they didn't achieve their ultimate goal of reaching Antarctica, they accomplished much more when it came to understanding diversity on their six-month journey. 

"It's just about making those conscious decisions to be not just a local citizen, but a global citizen," said Geoghegan.

The duo documented their entire trip online. You can see it here.

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