Ushuaia, The End of the World. It’s crazy to think that I’m even here, so far from everything, but at the same time, still among those friendly Argentinians I’m met along the way.
Ushuaia is the world’s southermost city and is in the province of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) in southern Argentina. Tierra del Fuego is split in two with Chile to the west and Argentina to the East. Antarctica is just a couple of thousand kilometres away.
Ushuaia itself is surrounded by snow-capped peaks at this time of year and to the south is the Beagle Channel. The flight in to the airport is breathtaking. If you’ve ever flown to Nice, it’s pretty similar, but added to the fact that you’re landing right next to the water is the fact that just 5 kilometres away rugged mountains rise up to make the landing that much more exciting!
The town is a welcome surprise to any strange expectations one may have for a city so far removed from everything. The people are friendly and there seems to be quite a booming economy with exclusive duty-free shops and the regular argentinian kiosks.
I checked into the hostel, Torre al Sur, striaght from the airport on the first night. It’s cozy and the staff are very friendly.
On my first full day, I went snowboarding at Cerro Castor. It was a great experience and the slope is actually really good for snowboarding. It is so wide and there are few hazards along the way – basically you can go wherever you want. I was very lucky to get here in time because the slopes closed today. Granted, there was quite a bit of ice and no powder, but what can you expect a week into spring. I imagine at the height of snow-season it must be awesome! I also seem to have made history, according to the photographer on the slopes I’m the first South African he’s met!
The next couple of days were spent relaxing during the day and living it up at night. I met five Irish guys in the hostel and they were always up for a party which suited me fine. The nightlife is actually really good and the parties went on till well after sunrise! A good bar to visit is Lennon’s were the place is a tribute to John Lennon. They have live music and the atmoshpere is really good. Just don’t tip the barstaff with fake $100 bills, they don’t really appreciate it! 🙂 One good night was spent there and afterwards Dave did the customary thing and dropped his pants on the pavement. Somehow the police spotted us and an arrest was imminent. Luckily in some broken Spanish Barry managed to apologise after the policeman said: “I don’t know what you do in your country, but that’s not allowed in Argentina!”.
Later we went to a club called Nautico on the seafront which was quite good – very busy! Brendan managed to lose his camera and to console him there was the customary: “Don’t worry it’s not the end of the world! Oh, wait, it is!” It’s always funny!
For supper te next two nights we managed to find a good old Tenedor Libre (All-you-can-eat) place that served lamb from the spit! It was delicious and I highly recommend it! Man it’s good!
The Irish guys have left and today is Ushuaia’s 120th anniversary. I went down to the seafront to get some pictures of the parade. Their armed forces are pretty hectic and are armed to the teeth!
Soon I will leave for El Calafate I think, a bit further north and home to one of the world’s only advancing glaciers!