Arriving in Ushuaia, Argentina - the Big Crisis
We made it. On 11th December 22 we’ve arrived in Ushuaia. Thus, the trip comes to its end after 10 years traveling thru Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Of course, that’s the moment of our big crisis. Unless we have an incredible idea how to extend our journey.
Puerto Natales 2 Ushuaia
Punta Arenas, 10th December
We’re on the way from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas. The southernmost town on South America’s mainland.
A rather boring drive thru flat’n’arid countryside.
Prado still insists to drive further south. Not just to the southernmost town. But, to the southernmost point on South America’s mainland accessible by car. Thus, the only option is to drive beyond Punta Arenas. Not far, just some 40km to the south, along the Strait of Magellan.
On the way, a couple of shipwrecks peacefully rusting away. Mostly victims of unpredictable weather on the way around Cape Hoorn.
Later along the beach. Until even Prado has to accept there’s no way to continue.
We’re on the way back to Punta Arenas.
A glimpse at the tiny village of Puerto del Hambre with its numerous fishing boats.
Punta Arenas: a small tranquil town at the edge of the continent. Not too much to do, unless we head for a beer or 2, sneak along the beachfront, and …
… take a boat to Isla Magdalena. An uninhabited island about 1 1/2 h by boat. To see the Magallanic Penguins.
On the way a whale or 2.
Back to Punta Arenas. Time for beer: a schop of Calafate.
Ushuaia, 13th December
Enough of Punta Arenas. We’re on the way to Ushuaia. Surely, you’ve seen Ushuaia is mentioned in the blog’s title. Somehow as the final destination of our trip. Thus, looks like we’re driving the final 400km of our trip.
To make it easier we take the ferry connecting Punta Arenas and Porvenir.
A great opportunity to see some more whales and Giant Petrels following the ferry.
Porvenir, the largest settlement in Chilean Tierra del Fuego. Some 6000 lost souls at the shores of the Strait of Magellan.
Then on a good gravel road some 100km to the Argentinian border.
Formalities are quickly done. The usual paper stuff, a few stamps, officials gluing letters in their computers, and some 30′ later we’re off. Another 300km remain until we’ll reach Ushuaia.
Initially, we planned to stay in Rio Grande. The 1st town after crossing the border. Nevertheless, arriving there we quickly see how ugly it is. So, we decide to drive on. Just 200km left to Ushuaia.
By now quite a nice landscape. Crossing some mountains. Late afternoon we reach the town.
Ushuaia – this small Argentinian town with some 75 000 inhabitants. Said to be the southernmost urban center in the world. Of course, the Chilies insist on this honor for Puerto Williams. A lousy village on the other side of Beagle Channel. Whatever, up to date the Chilies are not yet too successful with their claim.
In Ushuaia it seems to be quite a challenge to find a sleepery. The 1st 1 is closed. Just a telephone number. But they just hang up. The 2nd 1 we can’t find, and the 3rd 1 is so rundown’n’unfriendly that we leave immediately. Anyway, all of them without a place to sleep for Prado. We’re still optimistic, and ask some more places without any success. Then, the very last 1 – high up the hill. A wonderful place. Well, to reach the town center, we have to use a couple of stairs. Just 15′ downhill.
Time for a beer – and the moment for a real crisis.
Maybe some of you still remember our blog’s title – Monika’n’Martin’s Trip from Maseru to Ushuaia. And now we’re in Ushuaia. Logically, we can have a look at the town, and that’s it. Then we share 2 pics of what we’ve seen in this post, declare it the very last 1, and close the website in a week, or 2. Great. We can fly back to Swizzyland, enjoy x-mas with auntie Julie and uncle Fritz, receive the best x-mas present ever from auntie Julie – red socks, self-knitted. And we’ll be so happy x-mas has passed so nicely. Of course, this is the point when the great crisis breaks out.
We order a bottle of Malbec. To help us think about alternatives to auntie Julie’s woolen socks.
Yeah, where the hell could we travel to after reaching Ushuaia?
Well, Prado thinks it can go on for a few km more. With 380 000 km, it doesn’t really feel old. It rather has the feeling of a senior citizen preparing to climb Mount Everest.
We too think we could still go a little further.
Notwithstanding, we’ve been aware of this problem once we reach Ushuaia. Maybe some of you still remember the 1st considerations and inquiries we made on 25th March 2019. It was in Houston, Texas. At NASA’s space center. We contacted the guys there to inquire – unfortunately, they made us very clear that the US don’t have the technology to transport Prado to another planet. The same with the Chinese. Only the Russians agreed to ship it to the moon. Just somewhen this year the space rocket we booked got shot down on a kind of test flight into Ukrainian airspace. So, we definitely don’t have this option anymore. We have to develop other alternatives. At least for the next weeks to come. Maybe even for next year. Still, we have to check feasibility. And eventually, we need to rename our blog.
The next morning, we head for the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego. Just a few km out of Ushuaia, and the southernmost road for Prado in South America.
Time for some very short hikes.
Back to Ushuaia. Sneaking thru the center. Nothing spectacular. Mainly infrastructure for tourists. Eateries, watering holes, shops selling overprized Chinese souvenirs like penguins, and Ruta 40 stickers. On your next visit to this place no need to plan for more than 30′ to see it.
that’s it for this post. And, that’s it for this blog. We made the whole way from Maseru, Lesotho to Ushuaia, Argentina. Over a quarter million km, it took us 10 years, and we’ve been 30m below sea level at the Caspian Sea. As well as on 5895 m when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Even Prado had to climb up to 5450m. On an unknown pass in Tibet. At midnight – we couldn’t drive during daytime due to some military action of the Chinese army.
So, that’s it. Except if we have a good and feasible idea of how to continue. In this case, we might simply change the title of the blog and add many more posts. And you’ll be jealous again.