Rio Gallegos and Ushuaia

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South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia
February 11th 2010
Published: February 11th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

We are really starting to feel like proper adventurers now as we have been camping almost all over Argentina and barring our stay with Carito in Buenos Aires we have not stayed in a hostel since Montevideo in Uraguay.
We arrived in Rio Gallegos hopeing we might catch a bus straight to Ushuaia but had little hope as our guide book says to book a week in advance. We had a plan that I would wait for all our bags off the bus and Anne would run straight to the ticket desk to see if there was any seats left. Our plan worked perfectly and we got two of 4 seats left for the following morning whereas all the other groups were three people and had to wait longer!!
Once our tickets were bought we headed to the lovely yet windy campsite near the bus terminal. We then headed to the main centre of the town which consists of one street with not very much on it!!
That evening at dinner we met an interesting guy named Ion (he legally changed it from Paul) who was cycling on a recline bike around Argentina. He had some interesting stories and after dinner we went straight to bed at 11pm as we had to get up early for our 8am bus.
That night at 4am my heart fell into my stomach as I heard the rain building up outside with ferocious power. I was so frustrated as I was praying for no rain as nearly every night we get rain in the tent as we had to leave so early so surely there was no way for the tent to dry.
I decided to get up at 6am as I could not sleep and got Anne into the kitchen. I went out into the bitter cold and took down the tent while getting soaked but I guess this is all part of the adventure!
We made our way to the bus and jumped on at 7.55am. The bus did not leave till after 9am for some unknown reason the driver would not tell us. We then had to stop at border control for 3hours at Chile even though we did not step onto their land and then jump on the car ferry across to Tierra Del Fuego. On the boat it was beautiful even though it only last 20 minutes. We saw flocks of Magellan Penguins diving into the water followed by beautiful Black and white dolphins happily jumping beside the boat. I had never heard of these penguins before arriving in Patagonia so was delighted to see them although they were too quick for my camera.
We arrived at 1130pm that night in the centre of Ushuaia and made our way for the campsite. We arrived at the camping at 12pm and had to set up our wet tent up in the dark. The temperature must of been hovering close to freezing but at least the rain had stopped. We got the tent up and went straight to bed. We did not realise it would be such an ordeal to get to the end of the world.
I had been in regular contact with the girl in head office for North Face as they were sending my tent to Ushuaia in replacement for our leaking tent! I was desperately hoping the tent would be there when we arrived. We quickly made our way on the first morning to the The North Face store but of course the staff were confused and would not listen to me. I called back to America and she confirmed the tent was on its way and had left customs in Buenos Aires so was due to arrived 5days later!!!! We couldnt believe we were going to be stuck here for almost a full week, how frustrating. The place was beautiful but not worth staying here a week unless you are heading to Antartica. It was even more frustrating as our tent was like a giant air vent which couldnt keep any heat in. We slept in the leaking tent anyway and although cold I enjoyed the last few days in it.
Ushuaia although expensive is very beautiful. It is full of all sorts of tourists from people cycling the length of the continent and finishing here to a few backpackers to the people with the money heading off on their cruises to Antartic (so jealous).
On the 3rd day we went to the Martial Glaciar which is 7km from our campsite. The trek was beautifully laid through a forrest before reaching the bottom of the glaciar and trekking another km up to climb noto it before heading back down. We were joined by Yves who we picked up half way on the trek as he was lost. He is 60 and could trek as well as us and came all the way up with us and we parted half way back to the campsite. Our little trip with Yves got me practising my French which has imprived considerably. Oui Oui!!
The rest of time in Ushuaia was spent wondering around the down aimlessly as everything else was too expensive for us to do!! We went on a couple of treks but nothing too major.
One thing we did do was book a backpacker cruise up the Patagonian Channel in Chile which looks amazing and it works out almost the same as getting the bus up that way.
Once our tent finally arrived on the 9th (a day late) we quickly booked our ticket out of Ushuaia for the following day and headed for El Calafate.

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