At the end of the world ;-)
Trip Start Jan 16, 2011
174Trip End Jan 15, 2012
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Where I stayed
I was lucky: On 24th morning I went to the bus terminal in Port Madryn to buy a ticket to Ushuaia - it's a 30 hours ride and I heard the tickets are sold out way in advance during peak season. There was one ticket left! Booked at 10:30am, departure at 1:30pm - that's how I like it. Booked with AndesMar.
This time my sitting neighbour was a young Argentinian construction worker who was born in the north of Argentina and visited his mother, now on his way back home to Ushuaia. It takes him days to reach home! From north to south in Argentina it's 5,000 km! That's crossing Austria east to west nearly 6 times! The country is huge, and long! He didn't speak much English, so it was all Spanish. My Spanish is getting better - but to do small talk for hours, no way! In the end he said that our conversation was a little complicated
Andesmar had great service on board - some people said otherwise just a few days ago - good food and movies (The blind side and He's just not in to you) and the steward even played Bingo with us! That was a great way to test my Spanish number knowledge!
Landscape the same all the way, but I soooo love it! Just Pampa, the sky is so blue and it's tranquil. Nothing. Every now and then a sheep station. That's it. Changed bus in Rio Gallegos, we were actually 2.5 hours late, also because our bus got screened by police. New departure time for connection bus was 9:30am - just enough time to hide my apples in my backbag: Cause after Rio Gallegos we crossed into Chile and then out of Chile again into Argentina. But it's not allowed to bring any fruits into Chile.
Once in Chile our bus got on a car ferry. Superwindy! Amazing! And cold. Saw 2 Commerson dolphins (black and white) from the ferry, quite close. Driving a few hours through Chile, then border again back to Argentina. Reached Ushuaia at 10pm. It was still very light! On the bus a couple that stayes in the same hostel as I shared a cab from the bus stations, as our hostel is a little outside of the towncenter, but a real great place - it's called La Posta, like a resting place for the gauchos after long distances of herding cattle
26th Jan: Planned to sleep in today and explore Ushuaia. But it's nice and sunny outside at 9 am after it rained for the last 3 days. So after some croissants decided to go to Tierra del Fuego Nationalpark today!
On a minibus (70p for returnticket!) and a shortly afterwards we entered the Nationalpark. 4 hiking options: I like 2: the Coastal tour and the Summit. Decided to do the summit (just to check my fitness level in preparation for Torres del Paine Nationalpark in Chile), while the Dutch girl I met on the ferry and shared cab with went on the coastal tour. Summit was good, but I think coastal tour is more scenic. Summit: the info sheet said, 4km, 4 hours, strenous. And it was strenous, partly through forest, then wet moss, then granite - but I did it in 3 hours. On top of the summit at 973 meteres I got offered hot tea from a Ukrainian guy, Sasha, who lives in Israel - did our photo shoots and after 30 min in the cold decided to run down. I wanted to catch the 5pm bus to bring me to the coastal side, still think I should have done that track. Sasha and I run down the mountain, in 1:25 hours, but missed the bus. Got to go on another bus that went straight back to Ushuaia. Nevermind.
Back in hostel - shower, laundry (which is free in the hostel!) and dinner. Extended already my stay for a third night. I'll do the coastal track the day after tomorrow. And another red wine from Argentina (Malbec from Mendoza) with another Dutch girl...