January 28, 2006
The bus to Ushuaia left at 8:00 this morning. After a few hours, we crossed the Straights of Magellan to Tierra del Fuego on a ferry. When I got off the ferry, I got a quick picture by the sign welcoming me to the island. I stared walking back to the bus, but it was already leaving! I ran after it and frantically waved my hands to get the bus driver's attention. I thought I would have to hitchhike into Ushuaia and search for my backpack later in the day, but the bus finally stopped for me. I guess a bunch of people noticed the empty seat and were shouting at the driver. I think he just wanted to play a cruel trick on me.
Once we got to Tierra del Fuego, we saw a lot of nothing. We had to cross the border back into Argentina, and we passed through a few small cities, but otherwise the bus ride lasted twelve long, boring hours.
Ushuaia is a nice little city. It's only about four blocks wide, but it seems like it is 100 blocks long, stretching itself out along the Beagle Chanel. The ubiquitous Andes mountains are in still in the background. For almost my entire trip so far, the Andes have always been nearby. Now that I've reached the end of the line, they have gotten much shorter before taking their last plunge into the ocean.
The city is very touristy, but also fun. Every little store seems to sport a sign proclaiming that it is at the end of the world. Tonight I went out to one of the clubs in town with some people I met on my bus. You'll be happy to know that the famous Argentine nightlife does extend all the way to the far southern regions. The "night" scene was still going strong when I left at 6:30 AM, long after the sun had risen.
The photo album for this entry is here.