August 14th, 2004

emu

Ushuaia

Arriving by plane is great. By the time the clouds disappeared, you see mountains underneath you, in front as well. Snow on top, some lakes inbetween. Then suddenly one sees water. At the edge of the water a small village, that grows bigger when you´re descending. For people with fear of flying this might not be the nices airport, because soon after those mountains, one sees one road that stands out. Just outside the town, it begins in the water, strechtes for a few hundred meters and then ends in the water again. This must be the landing track. Over the water we turn, see some boats and we approach the track I saw before. We land in Ushuaia.

Ushuaia is a great place to visit. As I did mention before, it likes to describe itself as the end of the world, the southernmost city in the world. But that also means you are far away from everything you can imagine. For a place of 50.000 it feels small. It is small. It feels like my hometown, which is a quarter of it´s size. One main street where everything you need can be found, from shops to hotels, tourist information and restaurants. One street down and you are at the harbour front. A few side streets to where people live, you´ve seen the lot.

Worst thing I guess, is that only a few roads are paved. Most roads aren`t. Even the main road to the national park isn`t. The main road to the two other places on the Argentine side of the island Tierra del Fuego, apparently is paved most of the way. So 2 other towns, over 100 and nearly 250km away. This also means that wherever you go, you will encounter dirt. I wouldn´t want to imagine how the homes looked at the inside.

On the plus side, it has a lot to offer for those who come to visit. Skiresorts, sea, national parks, lakes, glaciers all within walking distance. I don`t think there are many places on earth than can say the same. So that certainly makes it a great place to visit. And for those who want to go to Antartica, from the harbour one could try to find a boat who goes there. Once in a while this is possible.

I had a great time at least, now I`m on to Calafate. New chapter in my travelogue I hope.