Ushuaia, Argentina

1000km, so close yet so far.

So here we are, the end of the world aka Ushuaia aka the capital of Islas Malvinas aka The Falkland islands. God love em. There is so much love for the Falklands down here that I am certainly not English. The flag flies everywhere, there are signs ahoy stating in English and Spanish that the Falklands are Argentinian and that British ships are not allowed to dock at Ushuaia. We had a fantastic plan of placing a Union Jack sticker with ´Made in Britain´ on it on all the aforementioned signs. A kind of political happy slapping game but with more emotional pain than physical pain unless we got caught that is. Problem is we can´t get hold of any stickers, weird that! Then again, the topic is extremely emotive down here and so best to live alone.  As for the actual place, well the town is a bit basic but the natural surroundings are beautiful as we have come to expect of Patagonia. We are also only 1000km from the Antarctic Peninsula which is home to a lot of touristy cruises and not so far from The BAS research stations. Hopefully I´ll get there one day.

On the way down to Ushuaia we stopped briefly at a ǵhost town´. It wasn´t much of a town but the big ship wrecks were worth a photo and the buildings were full of very dead sheep. It would make a great story for Black sheep 2. Its as though everyone had abandoned the buildings and sheds and forgot about the sheep. The shearing shed was full of sheep and wool, I have know idea how long it had been like that. Then there were the random sheep dangling off the upper floor of a shed, so very odd!

Ushuaia itself was okay. The main point of being there was because of its location but there was also the chance to do a boat cruise along the Beagle channel which is what I did. The Beagle channel was named after the British ship that discovered it back in the day and links the Atlantic with the Pacific and was important because sailers could go through the channel as opposed to going right round the bottom. I think. Today, it’s a good day out to see sea lions, a light house which was exciting as it sounds and, PENGUINS. The penguins were a definite highlight, it was like Frozen Planet live. They were hilarious in every way. If you look closely at the photos you will see a solitary King penguin amongst all the others (I can´t remember their flavor). Apparently the King penguin had lost his colony. The weather was perfect and the water calm so in all it was a nice little day out. The second day I had in Ushuaia was a rest day for me. Sounds hilarious as I´m on holiday but the last few weeks have been none stop activities and drive days so it was nice to have a day of doing nothing and just generally trying to sort my life out.

On leaving Ushuaia we had to drive out of Argentina into Chile and cross the Straight of Magellan. This is a much bigger straight of water compared to the Beagle channel but serves the same purpose of again linking the Atlantic and Pacific but further north. Apparently Captain Cook failed to discover it but the Magellan man did find it back in the day of proper voyages and discovery. Anyway it was bloody windy and our ferry pretty much crossed the straight sideways. We then headed out of Chile and back into Argentina. All done in one day. If you look at the map it will make sense but I didn´t know that Chile separated the Argentine bit of land at the bottom of South America. Nice to be done with border crossings for a while. Next one is Brazil. All a bit geographical today but I can gurantee that Buenos Aries will yield a few stories 3200km further north from Ushuaia in five days time.

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