11.03.2007 - 16.03.2007 10 °C
Here we are the the end of the world!! Literally, we are in Ushuaia which at the very bottom tip of Argentina. It is the the southermost town or city in the world and the base for most of the cruiseships that go to Antarctica.
Ushuaia is not really on the mainland but on an archipaelago called Tierra Del Fuego (translation meaning Island of Fire). This place was inhabited with peoples similar to the aboriginies of Australia. But the European gold diggers and Sea Lion hunters soon put paid to them with murder and disease. Gold panning was the business here. It is now tourism.
The weather is slightly more ¨fresh¨is here compared to the summer heat we´ve been used to so far - about 10 degrees during the day as the Antarctic breeze and snow capped Andes keep things pretty chilly. Jason thinks I am mad, but I am loving getting out the fleece and goretex and shopping for a beanie and gloves!!
Ushuaia is a fairly touristy town with lots of local excursions on offer. We ventured out on boat cruise on Monday to visit the penguin and sea lion colonies. The penguins were gorgeous, just like in the movie, Happy Feet! The sea lions are quite blobby, smell fishy and make some disgusting noises. Yesterday we did a hike in Tierra del Fuego national park, which was great. Wasn´t a particularly hard walk, quite flat really as it followed a lake along the bottom of the Andes. The scenery was just spectacular though. The end point of the hike is the border of Argentina and Chile, although I have to admit we were a bit disappointed when all that marked the border was a plastic orange witches hat type thing. Not sure what we were expecting (a ¨Welcome to Chile¨sign maybe??, or armed border officers.... he he...) but a number of other hikers also expressed their let down at the official border so it wasn´t just us!
Remember that TV show, Northern Exposure? That´s pretty much what Ushuaia looks like, very cute with chalet style houses, although without the moose walking down the street of course. Penguin are definitely the selling theme of the town, every shop sells penguin statues, jumpers with pictures of penguins on them, giant fluffy toy penguins dressed in hiking gear....and there is even a guy who dresses up as a penguin and walks down the main street.
Chat to you later.....Alli & Jason