Ushuaia - the city at the end of the world
Trip Start Feb 03, 2010
17Trip End Mar 14, 2010
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Where I stayed
`La Casa B&B
Arrived in Ushuaia early afternoon yesterday after being delayed at BA - never expect any flight in this country to leave on time! I used the domestic airline Austral which is part of the Aerolineas Argentinas fleet and here´s a hint - if you ever take this flight yourself, choose a window seat as the aerial views of the Tierra del Fuego snow capped sierra and the little islands dotting the channel are spectacular
Another note: the Patagonia region has strong quarantine laws so you can´t bring in fruit, animal products etc.
Ushuaia is an Argentine naval station, busy commercial port and the tourism base for wildlife and adventure sports in the Tierra del Fuego national park and the kick off point for the Antarctic run. The streetscape and surrounding views reminds me a little of Queenstown in New Zealand though not as big a tourist trap. Here´s the Wikipedia link:
I stayed last night in a cosy little B&B slightly up the hill from the main street San Martin (did I mention in my last blog that every town and city in Argentina has a major street named after General San Martin, General Belgrano as well as a `9th of July´ and the `5th of May' which means you should never write down the wrong postcode in this country.)
Last night all the ship´s passengers for this trip met for dinner at one of the hotels and were introduced to our expedition leader and the expedition photographer - we will meet the ship´s medical officer, trekking guides, wildlife expert and history expert when we embark
About 15 nationalities are represented, a smattering of Japanese and European among the Australian, Canadian, American and Sth African. There is a group of English bird watchers in the contingent - an interesting bunch though at times I feel I´m surrounded by the village characters from Midsomer Murders or Miss Marple - you know the type - sturdy walking shoes, binoculars and clipped accents and hailing from some quaint little town in Kent.
Just by chance, I was taking a walk down Calle San Martin last night after dinner when I noticed a poster advertising live foklorico and tango music at a venue called the Beagle Centro in the old port area.
I asked a couple of locals for directions and caught a taxi to what turned out to be the old airport at the end of a causeway in the military zone.
The place was amazing - a theatre venue, performance space, club and art gallery created in a hangar. The place provides a live show on the story of the Beagle during the day but is used as a music club from around 10.30pm most nightshttp://www.ladatco.com/USH%20-%20Ushuaia%20Centro%20Beagle.htm
There was around 30 people, mostly in their 20s both locals and travellers. I found myself sharing a table with a friendly Argentine senior naval officer who was a pretty good tango dancer!
I returned back to the B&B around 1.30am but only scored a few hours sleep before arising this morning for last minute shopping for a polar fleece and gloves.
I´m running out of time this afternoon, so will have to leave the tour of the Maritime Museum and Presidio (located in the former penal gaol) for when the ship returns to Ushuaia in about 19 days time - when I will also post my next entry.