Travelling day

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
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Trip End Jan 19, 2007


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Friday, November 10, 2006

Up for breakfast in our hostel and then got a lift to the bus station which was handy. Bus left for Rio Grande at about 9am and read and slept most of the way. Scenery was very flat and barren, pretty dull all in all. Then we get to the Strait of Magellan which is more exciting. We get off the bus to go on the ferry across this wide stretch of water. Weather is getting clearer and we enjoy standing on the deck scanning the water for anything interesting. See a body and tail of something black and white, Dave reckons its a penguin but looks more like a dolphin to me but no idea if they come in black and white?! Then see some small penguin heads in the water too. Pretty cool.

Get to the other side and we have now arrived in Tierra del Fuego an island at the bottom of South America. As some tourist blurb says (http://www.tierradelfuego.org.ar/indexeng.php) Nearly 500 years ago, a group of explorers from the Old World discovered for the first time the coasts of an unknown land.
Dispersed fires and columns of smoke seemed to float upon the waters, in the mist of dawn: this mystical setting gave the island its name, Land of Fire. What once was a remote and inhospitable place, today attracts thousands of people from all over the world. Adventure, emotion, history and legend: find out everything the island has to offer. See the Southern fires for yourself and light up your imagination.

Slightly over the top, but it is pretty mystical and beautiful.

A few miles later we get stamped out of Chile for what feels like the millionth time, and then a bit later get stamped into Argentina. Always get a bit sad in the immigration control offices as there are countless ´Missing´ photos plastered on the walls of children and adults some missing for about 10 years plus.

Arrive in Rio Grande at about 16.30 which appears pretty industrial and sprawling so not disappointed we are just driving through. Change onto a minibus which is full to get to Ushuaia. Head on our way and as we go south the scenery gets more interesting with pine forests and then huge lakes. Roads better than we imagined, although intermittently dirt and very windy. We arrive in the outskirts of Ushuaia earlier than we imagined, which is always a bonus.

Ushuaia looks pretty big and in a fantastic location surrounded by snow-covered mountains and a huge port surrounded by land as you can see the Chilean islands to the south. The weather is clear and sunny and it stays light until about 21.30 which makes a change! Off the minibus we start our long search for cheap accomodation wandering up and down one way streets (can´t work out who has priority here) and up and down the hilly streets. Eventually find somewhere cheap not too far out called Albergue Velasquez is 30 pesos each a night inc breakfast. Is more of an old couples house than a hostel but we have access to a kitchen which is handy.

Go out for a wander and enjoy the sunshine. Ushuaia is big and pretty touristy with loads of tourist tat shops and a few duty free ones. Is pretty nice though. We get our bearings and after much walking and supermarket shopping we head home for dinner in front of their telly. Start to plan ahead our few days in this place.
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