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Ushuaia (18/21-Apr) - Travel around the world

Ushuaia (18/21-Apr)

On the 18th I rushed to get my bus leaving at 8am from Punta Arenas direction Ushuaia and la Tierra del Fuego. I bought my bus ticket at the last minute but could not get any discount for that... This trip, supposed to last 12 hours is taking me to Punta Delgado where the straits are the tightest (just a few kilometers)... and late in the evening to Ushuaïa, legendary town of la Tierra del Fuego.

Crossing the Straits of Magellan in the ferry was kind of impressive, not so much because of the landscape, but mostly because of the impression to go to a very remote and inaccessible area of Earth. This impression was enhanced by the road change: on the continental Chile, the road was a normal road... while on la Tierra del Fuego, it was made out of stone and mud, and driving at 50km/h on this road seemed dangerous and there were a few times when I grabbed my seat on the way. Later the bus stopped in Rio Grande (biggest settlement on this island) and a argentinian guy came into the bus asking for me... claiming that the guy in Punta Arenas to whome I bought the ticket had made a mistake with change, and that instead of 50USD it was 75USD and wanted me to wait for his call. He called and explained me that the change was 300COP for 1USD (instead of the normal 585COP)... finally I was able to escape as the bus had to leave. Lesson to learn: never pay in USD even if the guy offers you to... Finally I arrived at night (after finally 14 hours of bus) exhausted in Ushuaia and landed in a hostel which name I will never forget (something like Akotenik...)... and went to bed almost directly (bad idea as the mosquitos decided to attack me that night :( ).

Before talking about the next morning, I should talk a little bit about my expectations for Ushuaia... I had never seen any photo of Ushuaia and in my travel guide was written than I should not expect anything nice, as Ushuaia is not really a nice place to see, but more a place to have been to... southernmost city in the world. So I was expecting a flat land (like the remainder of la Tierra del Fuego), a harbour and.... nothing much. Next morning then, I woke up sleepy and went to take my breakfast. And I stayed with my mouth open when I discovered the landscape in front of me: huge white mountains, the sea, boats, and a light specific to arctic places.... very low. I really needed a few minutes to recover from that... and grab my camera :P. You can see many of these pictures in the photo gallery about Ushuaia. Well, whatever... There's not so much to say about Ushuaia: I went walking around to see a Glacier then made a boat excursion on the Beagle Canal, walked downtown... and fought against mosquitos (I got at least 40 bites here and kind of killed my sleep one night). I also met a swiss couple and another one from New Zealand with whom we chatted a lot abut our respective trips.

Well I'm leaving tomorrow for... probably Puerto Natales. I still don't have my ticket and may therefore end-up in the uninteresting city of Rio Gallegos. But I hope I can make it up to Puerto Natales and see the National Park of Torres del Paine. Afterwards should be El Calafate and probably El Chalten, Barriloche... and up north till Salta. I was planning to take a plane to Salta or San Pedro de Atacama, abut seems more fun by bus (even if VERRRRRYYYY long).

Photos here

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