Published: October 26th 2011October 24th 2011
Tierra Del Fuego
The “Land of Fire” so named by passing ships spotting the shoreline campfires made by the Yamana people. It is shared between Chile and Argentina and is basically an island, surrounded by the South Atlantic and the Strait of Magellan.
An 18 hour bus trip, 4 border crossings, a ferry trip and place forgotten. Leaving El Chalten, I had a freezing bus trip, it was horrible! The locals all use these busses and I ended up right at the front, surrounded by windows on all sides. The cold just clung to the windows and to me, considering I didn’t sleep as the bus departed at 3am and I’m too much of a cheapskate to pay for another night’s accommodation I was an absolute ray of sunshine.
Then I had to change in what I now believe to be the ugliest town I’ve ever seen, Rio Gallegos, where I almost boarded the wrong bus and you know like those people whose luggage has to be removed from the plane because they checked-in but didn’t board, yeh, that was me... No one spoke any English and I was the only foreigner on the bus, the rest of the people
actually live down here!
The country is shared with Chile, so you criss-cross the boarder once again, I realized, custom officials are universally miserable and must all hate their lives/jobs/wives/husbands and pets. Although, I will kind of give those in this stretch of the planet, a little slack, there is nothing, literally nothing for hundreds of kilometres and a dirt road after the ferry crossing to the next border where you cross back into Argentina.
Not even the local Chilean people live there! There is only about 7,500 people living in this stretch of the country and I didn’t see another car for roughly 5-6 hours. It reminded me of the Karoo. Dry, boring (don’t think any Karoo people will be reading this) karoo bossie and way too much time to think! But to be perfectly honest, after the last 3 days surrounded constantly by people, I was glad to have some time to get my thoughts together and enjoyed the isolation. The newly loaded ipod (thanks DTJ) and Kindle was however a winner!
Usuhaia- the end of the earth
I am negative. Very negative.
Coming in through the mountains I was already working out what
is the maximum I was willing to pay for a flight change out of here, asap! Driving in through the industrial area, seeing that it really is pretty much a harbour town and it’s horrid! But above all, I was tired of being cold and I have seen nothing yet, nothing! I sent someone an sms and said they should come look for the frozen statue wearing a green jacket (which I’m already seeing in every picture…)
Only arriving pretty late, I just wanted a shower and a bed and as promising myself, first thing this morning went down to the “Aerolineas Argentina”. But because the universe knows better, I couldn’t get a flight change and realized it’s time to get over it.
I made the ride out to Glaciar Martial and I got taught how to walk on ice, by a Middle Eastern guy. The universe has a sense of irony.
We trekked up the mountain for a couple of hours and you actually walk on the glazier and it was absolutely beautiful up there, amazing views of the town and the fact that it’s pure ocean on one side and mountains on the other, is above
what I can grasp of beautiful. I am also happy to report that the rockspider shoes behaved very well on the slippery ice and knee deep snow!
The town is actually beautiful and kinda special. The streets are lined with (very expensive) gear shops, coffee shops and little supermarkets. You smell coffee all along and where you don’t smell it, you see wine. Maybe I’ll learn some much needed patience out here, give a place a chance
Yesterday I went hiking in the National Park, so not worth the price. After El Chalten, this was an (expensive) let down and once again I was too damn cold to even attempt a conversation with this group of Brazilian guys I met on the trail. Lucky for me I could just shrug me shoulders and go; “No parle vouz Portuguese, no parle vouz Espanol”. Had one of them spoken French, I would have had to come up with another dumb face (getting very good at those) and another excuse about what I can’t do! So much fun
Malbec. It’s not know to be a great wine, but down here, seriously it’s great and the ONLY thing that is cheap! Argentina
must be one of the most expensive countries, even the Dutch girls in my room, with whom I speak Afrikaans, said it’s even more expensive than Europe, but for those hard core red wine lovers, take note of the Malbec.
It is a laundry day….yes I’ve actually been here long enough already to do laundry! And still I’m waiting to be woken up and told to get my lazy ass in gear for school/work/something normal. I am very excited for two reasons; I will be joined by my very own travel companion and I am also super excited about leaving behind the cold.
I thought about apologizing for going on and on about the cold, but then I figured, I’m too damn cold to apologize!
Buenos Aires here we come!
There are more photos below