A few days at the End of the World

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South America » Argentina
January 30th 2016
Published: July 16th 2017
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Geo: -54.79, -68.31

On Saturday 30 of January, I took the 8:30 AM bus to Ushuaia. We were 5 from our hostel taking the same bus, 3 german guys, 1 austrian girl and me. It was a very long bus ride (12 hours) and there was nothing much to see since most of the way is pampa. It only became beautiful when we arrived at the border and the Lago Fagnano with is huge and very nice. At the border we had to wait half an hour - they are sooo slow at the border ... so good that we have no more border controls in Europe ! - but in this time the shepherds next to the border drove their sheep from one side of the street to the other and it was quite fun to see hundreds of sheep running around like crazy with dogs and horses running after them. :-)

At 10PM we finally arrived at Ushaia and we could see a beautiful pink sunset behind the mountains around the city. It was quite difficult to get a taxi but in the end I arrived at my hotel - La Posta Hostel. This hostel was very nice but far from the center unfortunately. Since everything was full the next day, I had planned on going to the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego the next day and on camping there for 1 night. The girl in the hostel reserved the 9 AM bus for me and she suggested me to take a boat tour no Monday afternoon, so she reserved that as well.

So the next morning I went to the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego. I had left most of my stuff at the hostel and so my backpack was very light with only my tent and sleeping bag. I wanted to get off at the camping site, leave my backpack and go hiking from there, but every route I planed seemed to have some inconvenience. So, in the end, I got off at the first stop, the Pier at the Zaratiegui Bay and I started hiking (with my backpack) the 8 km route along the cost. It was a beautiful day and the hike was easy enough. In the middle of this trail was a nice place to rest on the beach and there I met Renato from Sao Paulo. We started talking and became friends quite fast. He speaks a lot of languages (portuguese, english, french, german and spanish) and he immediately agreed to be my contact in Sao Paulo if I need anything or any help. He's a really nice guy and maybe we'll do some tandem in Sao Paulo where he can practice and improve his german and french and I can learn portuguese. :-)
We made the rest of this hike together and then we separated because he wanted to see the "Negra Small Lake" and I wanted to have lunch at the visitor's center (I had no chance to buy lunch in Ushuaia before coming...).
I had some really good Quiche and I bought a sandwich for dinner in the evening.

Now I had different options : I could do the short and easy trail (which would be better for my poor hurting foot) or I could do the difficult steep trail. Since Renato had told me that the next day it would rain and I wanted to get the view from the mirador at the Cerro Guanaco Trail with sun, I decided to do the difficult trail. I left my tent at the camping and after a suggestion from the parc guard I made my way up only until the first viewpoint. I did it quite fast, in 1:30 hours and I'm sure I could have made it to the second viewpoint and back before sunset, but my foot wasn't all that happy with me, so I decided that the first viewpoint was far enough. It was really beautiful up there and I found the perfect tree to sit on and watch the landscape. I have always loved climbing on trees but I haven't dont it in a long time ; it was good doing this again. :-)
After going down again, I continued on the Hito XXIV trail along the Roca Lake where I found a very nice spot to sit down, rest and cool my foot in the lake. That evening I put my tent close to the Laptaia River and read while watching the sunset behind the mountains.

There were lots of people on the camping and some of them had put on quite loud music which is a pity in such a beautiful quiet parc. But hey, what can you do ? Some people just don't appreciate quiet nature...

That night, it started to rain heavily and I was freezing in my tent. In the morning it was a bit better, the rain had almost stopped and so I went for a walk to the viewpoint over the Laptaia Bay. It was nice, but nothing special in this rainy weather. I left the parc with the 1 PM bus who left me right in front of my hostel.
I was supposed to go on a boat tour to the lighthouse but since the weather was too bad (very windy and rainy) the boats didn't leave the shore. I would go the next morning then and wasn't very sad about it : the night in the tent and the hiking had left me quite tired and I was happy to just stay at home. I went searching for a cash machine but the only one I found wouldn't give me any money... I hate cash machines in Patagonia : either they have no money or they are restricted to give maximum 1000 pesos which is nothing considering you have to pay 85 pesos charges for the transaction... :-( So I went back to the hostel, bought in a mini-market some water, wine, chips and soup and spent the afternoon watching movies on my phone in my bed.

The next days should get much better and by far more interesting. In the morning I had breakfast with my roommate Ido from Israel and met Yanay and Ido who are also from Israel. They seemed very nice and we decided that we would cook together in the evening.
I went on my boat tour and on the way I finally found a cash machine that gave me money ! Juhu! The tour was quite nice, we saw thousands of condors and many other birds on an island close to the lighthouse and our guide was very nice. On that tour - we were only 8 people - I met Mariela and Emiliano from Neuquen in Argentina and I had the honor of being the first person to know that they got engaged ! :-D During the tour, we stopped at some island to get information about the fauna and flora there and have a nive view over Ushuaia. When we left again, Mariela and Emiliano were still standing on the viewpoint and I asked them if they wanted me to take a picture of them - of course they wanted and I went to the boat but they stayed a bit longer. Back in the boat, Mariela thanked me for taking this picture and told me that Emiliano had just asked her to marry him on that viewpoint after 10 years of relationship. Sooo sweet ! :-D

When we arrived back at Ushuaia it was lunchtime and so I went to a restaurant our guide had suggested me to eat the traditionnal "centolla", king crab ratatouille. It was delicious !
Afterwards I visited the small but nice city center and I bought some salad and chips for the night and went back to the hostel (in taxi, too lazy to walk 30 minutes back).
After relaxing a bit, I met my new friends Ido, Ido and Yanay in the kitchen and we got to know Sahar from Israel, Ryan from London and Inga and Kris from Latvia. We spent the evening together drinking lots of wine, eating and having a very good time. Sahar told us about a guy she had met in the airplane. He was steward and obviously interested in her. At some point he brought her a glass of water with a napkin on which he had written his facebook name ! Hahaha, so cheesy ! xD We made fun of them because she's just as cheesy as him and at some point he wasn't only a guy she had met but her boyfriend alreday. :-D At some point we decided to go out and after some searching we found a bar where we had a beer before going home.

The next day, it was raining like they had predicted and I went with Ryan, Ido and Yanay to the city center. Ido and Yanay had to move - just as Sahar but she had left earlier - and I waited for them to move in. It took an eternity ! They had booked via hostelworld but the hostel hadn't seen their reservation and they were full. They said they would kick out some people who had reserved via mail only but that they would have to move to another hostel again the next day but that they would find one for them. Strange story, all very messy and totally argentinian ! xD
Then I went to the museum with Ido and we learned something about the way of life of the native people, the Selk'nam etc., about the colonization and the first expediation to the Antarctic. It was quite interesting, especially the part about the Antarctic, and the museum was good. Ido and I had a good time there and after buying some gifts, we picked up Yanay at the hostel and went for lunch. In Ushuaia everthing is really expensive, just like everywhere in Patagonia. But we were lucky and found a restaurant that had also cheaper meals like chicken. I had salmon with a great sauce of mini-shrimps and crab. It was expensive (around 25 euro) but delicious ! I think it was the best meal I have had in a very long time.

In the evening, I had dinner with Inga, Kris and Ryan and a bit later Sahar joined us. We had a lot of wine and for fun we planed Sahar's wedding in Israel with this polish steward she had met. This wedding would be awesome ! xD
Around 10 PM, Ido and Yanay joined us and we had more wine. I convinced Sahar to buy my tent, matress and sleeping back for a good price and was very happy to be rid of it since I wouldn't use it again. At midnight, we celebrated Kris's birthday and had some champagne. It was a great night, we had sooo much fun! :-D It was sad to say "goodbye", but we planed to meet again soon.

To conclude, I had a great time in Ushuaia, thanks to the beautiful city, but mostly thanks of the amazing Parque National Tierra del Fuego and to the wonderful people I met on my way and in my hostel.

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11th February 2016

Sehr schner Blog und tolle Bilder.In Wirklichkeit sicher alles noch schner.
13th February 2016

Hi, ungaubliche, atemberaubende, faszinierende Erlebnisreise!!!!Hatte keine Ahnung von allem, beim nchsten Treffen, musst du mir alles berichten ! (Knigspinguine, Kulturen,...)Alles liebe und Gute zum Geburtstag.

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