Friday 6 November, 8.17am, MIL810
Goodness me, it seems I just can't sit still at the moment. Arrived in Ushuaia last night after the longest fricking plane journey ever, more than two hours late. We got delayed setting off from BA, and then for some reason (I’m not sure why because they only made their announcements in Spanish), we landed in some random spot and sat on a runway for over an hour. Eventually I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until we were back in the air. No idea what it was all about. Bloody annoying though. But eventually we got to Ushuaia, which really did not disappoint – amazing mountains just sat right there next to the airport. It looks something like I imagine Alaska to look, actually, but I guess this would be the southern hemisphere version.
Went for a wander round the little town centre, but it was so cold I didn’t do nearly as much wandering as I’d thought I would, and instead just located a nearby restaurant and flung myself gratefully inside – hadn’t eaten since my uberlush brekkie in BA, and it was about 8pm by this point. Definitely worth the wait though, as I gorged myself on mussels, king crab, and chocolate mousse. Three courses, including two of the more expensive dishes plus a bottle of wine, and it still only came to £50 – I love this country. I realised last night that in the place I went to in BA, I accidentally tipped about the same as the meal cost – I’m all for generous tipping, but I think that might have just been throwing my money around. It’s hard trying to keep three currency exchange rates in your head at once though – the Argentinians use pesos, but you can also use USD in most places. I don’t have any pesos, just USD, because that’s what you use on the boat, so I figured I’d get by with my card in Argentina. But the symbol for pesos is $, just like USD, so I keep thinking things are in one currency when they’re actually in another. Thus for an $80 bill, I tipped $20, because I’d been so hungry and the steak was so good and the waiter warmed up a lot after our first interaction, so I was feeling generous in the region of 25%. But then last night I was thinking about it and working out the exchange rate in my head and I realised 80 pesos, which is what the bill was, is about £15. Then I realised 20 dollars, which is what I’d tipped with, is about £12. So while the meal was wonderfully cheap for what it was, I made it a lot more expensive by tipping like 90%. I’m the best tourist ever! All hail my currency foolishness. Still, no harm done, and I’ll know for next time.
We meet this afternoon at 3.30pm to get on the boat, but I have to be out of here by 10am, which is unfortunate. However, they have a transit room where you can hang out once you’ve checked out if your flight or whatever isn’t til later, so I’m just going to go down there. Might have a little nap, actually. Then maybe I’ll have another scout around Ushuaia since I have a few hours to kill – it’s very interesting looking, very old fashioned and quaint, but again, there’s a definite air of poverty. I suppose it shouldn’t be that shocking, this is South America after all, but I guess I just wasn’t expecting it as much as I should have been. Naive of me, really.
Right, must get on. Breakfast to eat, packing to do. Next update might take a while, I don’t know what the situation is with the boat’s internet, but if you haven’t heard from me in the next 48hrs, assume I won’t be updating for a while. I’ll still be on email if you want me (firstname.lastname@example.org
) and if I can get on Twitter, I’ll be microblogging my minute observations (www.twitter.com/suzloua
). Enjoy your Novembers, and just in case I don’t see you, good afternoon good evening and goodnight.