So this is it. End of the line. You can literally taste the Antarctic breeze in your lungs. The most southernly city in the world; the portal to that big sheet of ice they call Antartica, and WOW do they capitalise on this!! Ushuaia pronounced oos-why-aa (not uushwaya) has a ‘this is it’ feeling at every street corner and road sign. It’s buried within a scenic 280 degree mountainous landscape and a harbour where Antarctic cruises embark on their journey. The city itself is quite small and lies on a slope facing towards the ocean, where one can cross the beagle channel for some penguin watching or to take those awesome photos at the infamous red lighthouse at the end of the world. Close by is the National Park, Terra del Fuego (Land of Fire) where, battling a head cold, I cycle to the end of the world, stopping to the train station for the end of the world train (see a pattern emerging here) and followed this with a stunning 4hr trail to the end of the world (beaver dams, woodpeckers and crystal clear skies) and needless to say, hitchhiked back with some friendly locals.
Other days in Ushuaia were spent trying to find the unusual wind swept trees. Inadvertently, we had trespassed our way onto a ranch with hundreds of angry bulls. We armed ourselves with sticks and stones for protection and clung to the edge of a cliff face. We also managed to climb a glacier mountain (Martial) in desperate weather conditions (one point on our hands and knees as the snow was so intense). To make a quick descent we then proceeded to slide down on our asses using a plastic bag. Not the best idea when suffering from a head cold. After all the wetness of the glacier and mountain we stumbled upon this unusual fairy tale tea house where everything was pink…Was I on drugs?!?
Highlights: looking at a map of the world and realising how far away from home you are!