The end of the world

Trip Start Sep 19, 2005
Trip End Mar 19, 2006

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Sunday, October 16, 2005

A few days in Ushuaia, which is the southernmost city in the world. There's actually a Chilean naval settlement of a couple of thousand people on the the other side of the beagle channel, but presumably that doesn't count!! The flight here was amazing, right over the Andes, so close you could almost touch them, which did bring on slight worries about that film "Alive" where the plane crashes and the survivors end up eating each other!! But we got here fine and it was a lovely sunny day.

Today, however, I woke up and it was snowing, which put paid to any plans to go for a walk in the national park. Oh well never mind. Yesterday I managed to do a little boat trip out into the Beagle channel before the weather turned, which was good. Just managed to get a picture of the "lighthouse at the end of the world" (everything here is billed as "the end of the world"!) before the camera conked out - ggrrr not happy about that as I only put in a new battery last week. Must have been all those glacier and iceberg pictures. We also saw colonies of king cormorants and sea lions who for some reaon have chosen to live on a tiny, very bleak rock miles from anywhere. I suppose that's the attraction though!

We also stopped on one of the islands in the channel to have a walk. We saw the foundations (holes in the ground really) of the huts of the Yamana tribe, who used to live there something like 6,500 years ago (Why!? I ask myself), and some of the tough little plants that cling to the rocks. Apparently they are related to the carrott family but they are spongy little things with tiny flowers.

What else? Went to the museum (of the end of the world, naturally) and got my passport stamped to say I had been there! Apparently in the 1960s there were only about 5,000 people living here (which I can completely understand!) but now there are about 70,000. Mostly working in "end of the world" related businesses I should imagine. There was also a section on all the ships that have come a cropper in the Beagle channel, which makes you understand why the route through from the Atlantic to the Pacific wasn't discovered until the 1830s.

Tomorrow I have a cheap flight into Chile and Thursday I am off on the Navimag ferry up through the Chilean fjords. Hoping the weather will be good and there won't be too much seasickness involved when we cross into the open sea. So if you don't hear from me for a while, its cos I am bobbing up and down on a ship somewhere in Chile! I think it will be an (ahem) interesting journey as the boat is fitted out for passengers but is still also a cargo ship, so there will be every possibility of cows as fellow passengers!

Anyway, take care all and talk to you soon
Love Sarahxx
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