End of the WORLD but not the end of the trip.....

Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
Trip End May 07, 2008

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Mammy Butler, Neb & Megser!! xxxx

Three and a half hours in a plane from Buenos Aires and we came in low through cloud over the "Tierra Del Fuego" (Land of fire) national park. The first sighting out of the window on our comfy Aerolineas seats was the sprawl of snow capped mountains below. The plane almost tipped to one side with people leaning to see the views below. We were excited all over again looking out at what awaited. Ushuaia is a port town literally at the end of the world! The next town is Antartica!!!!  Well there is a naval base town called Peurto Williams but it doesnt count!  Ushuaia is nestled within a huge range of snow capped mountains and you only had to walk 30 minutes out of town to be amoung the lower parts of the range. The town itself is like a mini Switzerland ski resort with cute wooden buildings and snow!  Feels a bit closer to Christmas now for pretty much the first time on this trip!  The shops are very Christmassy too.  I got my `white Christmas`a month early!

We hit the mountains on the first day taking a chair lift up the side of one about 1000 feet and into the snow. Although the snow was melting and raging down the mountain in parts as small rivers there was still a huge amount of knee deep snow to trudge through in parts. The views were great and we just kept walking up and up to get as high as we could. At one point I (conor) decided to walk along a rocky part of the mountain to avoid what I thought was very deep snow. But of course Lou decided against the sharp slate and went straight for the snow. 2 minutes later and I heard Lou shouting and when I came running around the corner I found her buried up to her hip in the snow and lay out on her back at the same time. After wiping the tears from my eyes I managed to free her and sent her sliding down the mountain on her ass gathering snowballs in her pants on the way. She really only slid for about 20 feet but we were in knots laughing and took a few minutes to pull ourselves together and remove the deposits of snowmen from her clothing. Needless to say this brought an idea to mind and after we reached our viewpoint and saw three Argentinians sliding down some steep parts above we decided to try and use one of the rain ponchos as a sled. You could slide for a few metres but eventually the snow would gather up and slow you down to a complete stop. Still though the going down part was fun with lots of sliding and trudging.

We did the boat trip to see the Beagle Channel and all the noisy and smelly but funny and playful sealions, cormorants and the lovely lickle Penguins. The whole Happy Feet crew were there!  The sea lions made really loud yawn farty sounds and kept chewing the heads off each other. They were competing for ownership of their own rock.  The penguins on the other hand were very inquisitive and came as close as they wanted to you which was about 2 metres away but they came very close to the boat also. They can really shift under the water when they need to. Lou fell in love with them so of course everything like sweaters, hats, souveniers and postcards has to have a penguin on it for the next two weeks or until we see something better! We stayed in two great hostels and met some cool and some interesting people again. The local beagle beer that tastes like sweet guiness went down well!  The best bar in town by far was the Dublin Bar. Being an Irish bar as usual it attracted absolutely everybody. There were only about two towns anyway and the other one is called the Galway bar!  The town itself is really nice. Loads of scandanavian looking buildings and full to the brim with Grill houses and souvenier shops. We got our obligatory passport stamps to prove we were at the end of the world and Lou was thrilled because the stamp has penguins and `Fin del Mundo` - end of the world in Spainish! You can go to atarctica from here but it costs a whopping 4000 dollars. I suppose you can`t put a price on an amazing trip like that but we`ll just have to make do with 80 foot glaciars and icebergs when we get to El Calafate on Tuesday morning......
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