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Published: January 28th 2019
Three weeks of travel have taken their toll so today I am taking it easy. While the old man goes to climb a glacier, I set off for the museum. A few minutes later, he is behind me. The bus has been cancelled due to lack of interest. He follows for a while, complaining that ‘museums are boring’. Tantrum over, he decides to catch a taxi to the glacier and disappears again.
The Museo Maritimo & Museo del Presidio is housed in an old prison (the town was originally a penal colony). The entrance fee has doubled since I googled the website last month (treble the price in my guide book). However, it is larger than I’d expected and I emerge 3 hours and 100 photographs later.
The prison consisted of several wings. One has been left untouched to show the conditions prisoners lived in. A second tells the history of the penal colony and some of its more infamous inmates. A third is an art gallery. A fourth contains a gift shop and ‘Project Penguin’. The remaining wings detail the area’s history. There’s the tragi-comedy of the chaos wreaked by the first missionaries; a section on the first
successful expedition to the South Pole (including some sketches of Norwegian flags discovered in Scott’s notebook); and a section on piracy starring Sir Francis Drake. Plus plenty of other fascinating Fuegian facts.
In the afternoon, time for one last wander round town to take advantage of the many photo opportunities. Then, we round the evening off with dinner at a very nice restaurant the old man has selected from TripAdvisor. For £30 you get a small but tasty bowl of crab stew plus two chips each and one bread roll between two (plus a bottle of Cape Horn - the world’s southernmost beer). It’s a good job there’s a packet of biscuits back at the apartment with my name on it.
Our time in the beautiful Tierra del Fuego is over. Biscuits consumed, it’s time to pack. In the morning we fly to El Calafate.
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