Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's the End of the World As We Know It: Ushuaia, Argentina

Bundled against the morning chill in Punta Arenas, Chile

We crossed from Chilean Patagonia into Argentinian Patagonia yesterday, making it all the way to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the Americas. The bus trip from Punta Arenas, Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina, is eleven hours long, but of that, only eight hours is on the road, since so much time is spent at the border crossing and on the ferry crossing the Strait of Magellan. (And, to our delight, a pod of Commerson's dolphins crossed with us!) Once our bus crossed the Strait, it drove down the entire length of Tierra del Fuego. What surprised me is the strength of the historic sheep farming industry on Tierra del Fuego -- after hours of sheep, Gil noted that Argentine sheep are much better groomed and shorn than Chilean sheep.

We've spent Sunday relaxing in Ushuaia, enjoying the admittedly better Italian food (yeah, Argentina has its advantages over Chile) and making plans for Monday and Tuesday. We even got an "End of the World" stamp in our passports, and we'll be sending out postcards to those who have requested them. Ushuaia's a surprisingly developed city, with lots of tourist offices, retail stores, and chocolate shops :)

'Til Buenos Aires, chau!

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