Traveling To The Ends of The World To Discover Ushuaia

April 10, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More
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Ushuaia, on the Argentine side of Tierra del Fuego, calls itself “the southernmost city in the world”.  There’s some quibbling about the title based on the definition of a city, but Ushuaia is the most often cited.

I arrived in November, early summer.  The wind was strong.  I leaned against it like Michael Jackson in the “Smooth Criminal” video.  It was raining.  The temperature was slightly above freezing.  The surrounding waters kept it from being as cold as one would expect at that latitude.

Hotel Ushuaia

Ushuaia a small city, population 56,956, but it is definitely a city, no untamed outpost.  I walked several miles from my hotel to the downtown area. The architecture of Ushuaia is distinct, although nobody seems know anything about it.  Someone should write a book.  The contents are ordinary:  coffee shops and souvenir stores.  Displays of figurines carved from rhodochrosite, the Argentinean national stone, are identical throughout Argentina.  The steak in Tierra del Fuego disappointed.  The cattle region of Las Pampas was far away.  I had been dazzled by the delectable cow in Buenos Aires.  In retrospect, prudence would have dictated that I order the crab.

Ushuaia Port

I spent an hour or so looking at the Malvinas War Memorial.  The Malvinas are the Falkland Islands to us Borealians.  In the USA, we tend to view the Falklands War as comical bickering between a banana dictatorship and a stodgy former empire that had been kicked in the shins, both looking for honour rather than any value from those barren Antarctic rocks.  But, apparently, they take it pretty seriously down there.  There were about a thousand casualties.

A casino was across the street.  I plugged some change into the incomprehensible machines before deciding my time would be better spent out in nature.  I made my way downhill to the Beagle Channel and met some dogs along the way.

Ushuaia Beach

By the shore, a cape petrel hovered right next to my head for several seconds as it struggled against the wind.  I took a video, but with only the sky for background its static motion didn’t read as anything interesting.  I walked out onto a gravelly spit and sat on a rock and watched a pair of kelp geese.

I had meant to stay there all afternoon and enjoy the panorama, but I noticed some other tourists standing back and waiting their turn for some alone time with the viewing spot.  Considering the miles of totally unoccupied coast on either side, I felt put out, but grudgingly went on my way.  I can’t stand to have people wait on me.  The rain had stopped.  The wind still bit.  The inside of my wool gaiter was getting soaked.

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About The Author:  Jason Hall is author and Brand Manager for Budget.com.au, Australia’s leading car hire company. He enjoys writing about his travels and adventures.
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Category: Adventure Vacations, Featured, South America, Trip Reports

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