“Wherever you go, go with all your heart”
Ushuaia (pronounced Oos-why-ya, or Oosh-why-ya, with the accent on the “why”), is the southernmost city in the world. That said, any geography buff will tell you that Ushuaia is no further south than Belfast is north. Regardless, it kind of sounds badass to be the southernmost. Add the fact that some penguins live here, it sounds downright frigid.
Unlike Belfast, Ushuaia is not easy to get to if you care how much you spend on a flight. I tried my best to find a great deal, but the best I could come up with was $1200 from Miami to Ushuaia. This consisted of a layover in Santiago Chile, and an airport change in Buenos Aires. After I booked my flight with LATAM (a great airline by the way), things changed. A two-hour layover became a seven-hour layover, and a three-hour layover became a five-hour layover. All told, it took 27 hours to get from Miami to Ushuaia.
I arrived at 6:00 pm, famished, gross, and tired. After my shower I felt a bit more human and went to the hotel restaurant, drooling for some steak. “The restaurant does not open until eight”. So I responded to the desk clerk “I’ve had nothing but airport food for the past day and a half, please direct me to a steak that I can eat now”. So she sent me down the street where I devoured a strip loin. Then I came back, a little buzzed from the wine, and I passed out for 10 hours.
Day 2: Feeling clean, fed, and well-rested, I decided to spend the day just wandering about with my camera. It’s the middle of summer right now, and I enjoyed 17c. Wind is forecast for later today, and rain tomorrow. But there’s just something about weather and stormy skies that gets me excited.
I’m happy with the hotel I chose (even though they make you starve before you can have dinner). It’s directly across the street from the tourist office and the bay where all the Antarctica-bound cruise ships dock.
Hotel Albatros is mainly wood construction. This explains why it burned down twice. But that was back when the train transported prisoners to the town, and sparks from the stack would ignite the building. I’m sure we’re ok now. My room is on the first floor with windows I can escape from just in case.
Back to my wandering. I spent the morning near my hotel. Very nervous that 3 banks had declined to give me money with my debit card. I finally saw an HSBC and felt comforted. Waiting in line for the ATM, I noticed a machine that would only give you balance updates. Since the wait was going to be a few minutes, I decided to feed my debit card into the slot. My heart sank when it read “this ATM does not accept your card”. Discouraged, I waited anyway. When it came my turn, I put my card in while I practiced conversations with TD in my head. But then I heard the flick-flick-flick of the money being counted. Eureka!
With some money in my pocket, I wandered back to the Tourist Office and purchased a city bus tour. (250 ARS or about $17.00 CAD). I love the bits of information you get as you drive past. Unfortunately, I sat on the right side of the bus, and some of the most interesting things were on the left. Like “Devil’s Lake” – the only lake in the town. It got its name because in the winter, the local animals would go missing whenever the wandered near the lake. Given a little bit of common sense, perhaps the lake froze and the animals wandered onto some thin ice?
My final picture is dedicated to my friend Jason. One day he’ll make it to Fin del Mundo, and when he does, he shall dine on crabs.Share This: