Feliz Navidad from the end of the world!
Trip Start Nov 17, 2012
36Trip End Jun 12, 2013
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Ushuaia, pronounced U-sway-a, (its what happens when you drink too much...!) is in Argentina and the main jumping off point for Antarctica adventures. After arriving and scoping out the town we ventured out on a sailing boat to the nearby sea-lion colony and island nature reserve. We also learnt about the indigenous people who used to live in the -5 degree temperatures, effectively naked, until western diseases arrived and the culture was wiped out - although Paul still blames it on shrinkage.
There were also various flora & fauna types, typically birds birds & more birds (our guide a trained biologist described the Cormarants as 'shit machines' - probably not the botanical name but accurate nevertheless).
Argentinians mainly celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, rather than the 25th, having a big family dinner then all opening presents at midnight. Our version was similar: We met up with some friends from the W-trek and began with drinks at the local Irish Pub (random!). After trading stories and a few beers, we soon learned that one of the guys has a 'tramp stamp' - yes he is male and yes it is hilarious - that he totally regrets but has found a way to embrace (so funny!). We then headed out for dinner to find absolutely nothing open, and the Argentina version of 7-11 our last resort. After a long walk we found ourselves gate-crashing a hostel and they hooked us up with BBQ meat, salad and some left over cheese! We celebrated with our new found family and gave a "Salut" as midnight ticked over - "Feliz Navidad"!
Christmas morning was a casual affair with breaky in bed, presents and most importantly Bing Crosby & Patsy Biscoe christmas carol medleys - now it was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!!! A lazy day saw us catch up with family & friends all over the world with a Christmas lunch in town later that day.
We spent the following day at Tierra Del Fuego National Park doing a bit of walking - more windswept and not as stunning as Torres Del Paine but still beautiful with less people and more wildlife.
The following day we caught the bus back from Ushuaia to Puerto Natales which was uneventful aside from waking to the sound of screeching brakes and seeing the car in front of us hit the edge of the road, flip and roll. Paul and a few others from the bus got out to help pull the people from the car (who were ok) and flip the car back onto its wheels. Just another relaxing bus trip really.