Don't Fall off! It's the End of The Earth!

Trip Start Jun 14, 2005
Trip End May 12, 2006

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Friday, March 17, 2006

Besides crossing the Estrecho de Magallanes (Straight of Magellan) the 12 hour bus ride from Puerto Natales to Ushuaia through Tierra del Fuego was rather monotonous until the last hour or so when the Fuegian Andes (or Darwin Range) spring up out of nowhere giving Ushuaia one of the most scenic locations ever. For those of you (like me) who have always heard the name Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) and never knew exactly what it referred to, it is that huge island forming the south tip of both Chile and Argentina. Having no interest in the land when sailing by, Magellen didn't stop, but from his ship he did notice the huge fires the natives used to keep warm and thus named it Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire). Today this island is pretty much the oil-drilling and sheep-growing capital of Argentina with not much more than a few cities with Ushuaia being the biggest and most touristy as it sports it controversial title as the world's Southernmost city as if were true. However actually there is a title little military outpost of 2000 people just a few miles south of Ushuaia on the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego that is actually the Southernmost settlement.
I can't honestly say I did much the first few days I was there as it was nice to finally be in a place for awhile without moving around. But come Saturday I went to the Adventist church and the fun began. As always I was invited out for lunch afterward and made enough friends that afternoon to secure a free place to sleep for the next 5 days, hurray! Miguel and Charlie Herculano set me up as we went every where all over seeing the glacier out of town, checking out the End of the World train ride, playing ping-pong and pool, making pizzas (uggh) and even going to a authentic Argentinean wedding. When they were working (bummer, huh) I headed off on my own and explored the wildlife on various islands in the Beagle Channel and finished off my trip with an amazing climb of Cerro Guanaco (Guanaco Mountain) with grand vistas of the incredibly famous Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Although originally I was going to take the bus ride from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires but I found out a couple weeks before getting down here that the trip by plane is actually cheaper and 3 hours instead of 50 so for the first time since arriving in Ecuador I found myself in an airport. As always it was sad saying goodbye to the friends I had made, as I'd probably never see them again, but at this point I was pretty much used to it (sorry, but it's true) and hopped aboard for the quick shot to the Tango-dancing, never-sleeping, European-feeling Buenos Aires. And did I mention that it's cheap? See yah there...
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