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Published: March 10th 2006
This is what the end of the world looks like.
I am now at the self proclaimed "End of the World" as Ushuaia is literally the southern most city in the world before hitting Antarctica. We arrived after about 14 hours on three different buses. The first bus left Puerto Natales at 7:30am and we went along in a sleepy daze for two hours when we stopped in the middle of nowhere, another bus pulled alongside, and our deaf yet touchy bus guy pointed that we should depart, switch our bags to the next bus, and get on it like a sketchy drug deal. So off we went. We were on this bus for several hours, including a brief ferry ride and the border crossing into Argentina. I keep coming and going from these countries so often that I will have 6 or 8 Argentinian stamps in my passport by the time this is all done. After this we caught a cramped minibus for the next few hours. It was rather uneventful until we got a flat and our driver had to change it at the side of the road. I managed to read and nearly finish a book of Sean´s called On the Road by Jack Keroac. We arrived in
I´ve seen so many and I never get tired of them.
Ushuaia to be harrassed by a hostel owner that we eventually went home with, as the one we wanted was full. It ended up being relatively nice. We spent the night at the grocery store and then cooking various meals. Cody and I made pasta with a white sauce of some kind and then it was late and time for sleep. My roommates in the dorm were loud with lights on forever, but being an old lady I whipped out the ear plugs and eye mask and drifted off. My bed was askew, so that was uncomfortable, but I managed.
Our first full day was spent doing absolutely nothing - three hours for me in the internet cafe, catching up on correspondences and so on. Then Scott and I had a pizza for a late lunch/dinner kind of meal. Came back to the hostel and just relaxed with some movies.
Sunday was great. Slept in, had some breakfast at the hostel and then did some looking into options for the rest of the day. Scott and I bought tickets for an afternoon catamaran ride through the Beagle Channel to see sea lions and penguins that left at 3pm.
This is in the beagle channel.
It was raining and we negotiated a bit of a discount, but it was still pricey. When we got to the boat and hour and a half later, it was sunny and beautiful and we had talked the other boys into joining us, even with their miniscule budgets. It was a great ride, though a bit cold with the wind. The animals were great and we relaxed inside the beautiful boat on the way back watching March of the Penguins, at least until the dvd stopped working. Came back and Scott and I grabbed, you guess it, another pizza for dinner.
Monday was Scott´s last day in Ushuaia, so we spent a lazy day again, mostly going around to different establishments collecting "free" gifts that were part of our tour from the day before; a free map of Tierra del Fuego, a free hot chocolate, a free drink...you get the idea. We even went to the aquarium for free, but I must say, it was rather depressing and small and we weren´t there very long. I finally caved in and bought a fleece jacket. It is so cold and my Peruvian sweater now had a broken zipper, so that
Aren´t they great?
wasn´t working so well anymore. Scott flew away to Buenos Aires and I made a pasta dinner with Ross, an Israeli guy I met at the hostel. Watched some more tv and then to bed, late as usual.
Tuesday I decided to do a day hike at the National Park Tierra del Fuego. I ran out in the morning to confirm my flight to Buenos Aires for Wednesday, and then left around 12:30pm for the park. It was to be my first hike alone in weeks, maybe ever, actually. I was excited. I got off the bus and started walking down the road I was told led to the water and hence to my chosen path. It did, and off I went. It was beautiful and sunny and the water was turquoise and the trees were great. It was a three hour hike which ended up taking me about 2.5 hours or less. At the very end I caught up to John, a Kiwi traveler for a year as well. We walked the end together just as it was starting to rain. Luckily, we were just coming up to the coffee shop in the park and sat down and
This guy was very curious.
had some cookies. We met up with some American friends of his there and chatted a bit, and then the three of them went back to town and as the weather had cleared, I went on to do three more little day hikes before catching the last bus out at 7pm. On my last hike I walked with two Argentinians, Marcelo and Esteban, both very nice. Got back to a somewhat emptier hostel. Sean and Cody left with Ross for a five day hike today, but the hostel is overrun with other super friendly Israelis (as is every hostel in Argentina and Chile), and they offered to include me in the feast they were making for dinner. Very nice as I was exhausted, showered, and presented with a heap of food.
Wednesday I went to look for postcards and couldn´t find any good ones. Went to the naval/prison museum instead. It was actually really good, but I was kind of rushed for time since I had a flight to catch and still haven´t worked out anywhere to sleep when I got into Buenos Aires. I took a cab ride with an Argentinian couple from the hostel, Natalia and Andres.
They turned out to be wonderful, which was great since the flight was delayed by three hours. We had plenty of time to chat and they helped me out with a few technical difficulties, like getting a free call to arrange a hostel in Buenos Aires and a free cab ride to the hostel due to the delay and midnight big-city scary arrival. The flight stopped once en route to Buenos Aires, in El Calafate (where the Moreno glacier is), and that´s where these two got off. We may even meet up in BA when they get back from their vacation.
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