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  • Day166


    February 12 in Argentina ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    Es gab zwei Reisetage, wir fuhren nach Rio Gallegos, dort haben wir eine Nacht verbracht. Dann ging es weiter nach Rio Grande.
    Wir mussten um nach Rio Grande zu kommen 2 Grenzübergänge passieren.
    Einmal von Argentinien nach Chile.... das Besondere daran ist, dass man keine Lebensmittel mitnehmen darf. Wir mussten unsere Einkäufe leider entsorgen,
    was mir extrem schwer fällt. Leider hatten wir uns beim Vorräte zulegen etwas verschätzt. Ein Grenzbeamter kontrollierte ganz gewissenhaft unsere Rucksäcke und das Auto.
    Dann kam der nächste Grenzübergang in umgekehrter Reihenfolge und wir waren wieder in Argentinien... den Argentiniern ist es egal was man mitbringt... uns ja auch, denn wir hatten ja nichts mehr 😎

    Um nach Ushuaia zu gelangen, muss man eine Autofähre nehmen, sie fährt ca 25 Minuten über die Magellan Straße. Kurios ist es, dass man auf der Fähre bezahlen muss. Wir hatten keine Ahnung, wie das vonstatten geht, hatten irgendwie erwartet, dass jemand auf uns zukommt, doch als wir bemerkten, dass sich ein paar Leute vor einer Tür anstellten, lag die Vermutung nahe, hier gibt es die Fahrkarten - Bingo. Kaum war das Ticket gekauft, konnten wir auch schon die Fähre verlassen.
    Wir waren in Feuerland 🔥

    Nach ca 2 Stunden waren wir in Ushuaia angelangt. Die südlichste Stadt der Welt. Von hier aus starten viele Expeditionen in die Antarktis. Im Hafen konnten wir schon die ersten Kreuzfahtschiffe sehen, viele Katamarane, kleine Ausflugsboote und auch 2 Schiffe von Greenpeace.
    Ushuaia befindet sich in der Inselwelt von Feuerland an der Südspitze Südamerikas. Sie trägt den Beinahmen "Ende der Welt"🙃
    Sie liegt zwischen dem Gebirgszug der Montes Martial und dem Beagle-Kanal.
    Wir hatten uns in Neuseeland mit Winterkleidung eingedeckt, denn hier soll es immer sehr kalt und windig sein. Doch wir stellten fest, dass hier natürlich alles auf "Kälte" eingestellt ist. In allen Geschäften gibt es Kleidung in verschiedenen Ausführungen, von billig bis sehr teuer... aber wir wollten keine Zeit mit shoppen verbringen....

    Für die Zeit hier hatten wir ein kleines Appartment gemietet, so konnten wir kochen und sind etwas unabhängiger, auch konnte mal wieder Wäsche
    gewaschen werden.
    Da unsere Lebensmittel ja der Grenze zum Opfer gefallen waren, haben wir diesmal sparsam eingekauft... es fällt mir sehr schwer, Lebensmittel zu verwerfen, dann lieber öfter einkaufen gehen.
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  • Day34

    Puerto Madryn to Ushuaia

    September 13, 2017 in Argentina ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    The Town of Puerto Madryn

    Last Saturday we had a domestic and chill out day. We did our laundry. Chris had the obligatory haircut. Then we spent the rest of the day walking around Puerto Madryn, a really lovely seaside town, mainly watching the whales in the bay. Everybody else seemed to be doing the same at the weekend. There was a jamboree of Scouts having some kind of ceremony, gathered round a series of tripods hung with red banners, singing. Some people were sitting on the beach having picnics with their children, admittedly wrapped up, but one father and daughter had actually brought their own deckchairs. Others were strolling along the prom, stopping for drinks and cake at the beachfront cafes and restaurants, or calling at a particularly old fashioned food hut - all very British. The place was in fact founded by the Welsh (hence the name of the town), 150 of them, who arrived on the ship Mimosa in 1865 - the area was very sparsely populated and needed the man power. The cafes even offer a type of fruit cake called torta negra galesa or Welsh black cake, which we sampled. In the distance, the fishing vessel that had caught fire on Thursday was still smouldering. It had made the local news - a man had been trapped and they had had to launch a large coast guard ship (The Prefecture) from the main pier to help cut him out and rescue him. We had seen this whilst watching the whales, but thought it was a drill. In the evening we returned to the fantastic fish restaurant that has the locals queueing from a minute before it opens at 8pm. By a stroke of luck, it was virtually opposite our hotel. So, we didn't have to stagger far to get home.

    I'd travel to the ends of the earth with you...

    The following morning, we headed to the airport for the luxury of a flight, rather than the usual bus journey, this time to Ushuaia, a town right at the Southernmost tip of South America, on the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, which is quite literally half Argentinian and half Chilean. It looks like somebody (probably a nasty British man) has got a ruler and a pen and drawn a line vertically down the map. The transfer to the airport took us through a dull, flat landscape (most of Patagonia is a semi-desert) until, quickly spotted by Chris, we reached the large modern prison, and I was quite taken by a smart wooden house, completely surrounded by brightly coloured gnomes. Then, on rounding a bend, just before turning into the airport, a large dinosaur - a bit like the Argentinian version of the Angel of the North (for those of us who head to Newcastle regularly). As soon as you see it, you know you're nearly there.

    The airport itself was a shiny, modern affair, with a laid back North American feel - long and low with stonework features, and so glossy inside that you could see your face in the floor tiles. A very polite barista served up freshly squeezed orange juice, cake and coffee, and the plane itself was so clean, and had such smartly dressed, genteel flight staff that I felt like I was flying for the first time, back in the 70s, when air travel was a special event. The last part of the flight was a fairy tale - snow covered mountains, royal blue sea and hundreds of sharply etched islands.

    In contrast, Ushuaia itself is god-forsaken - it was too far for him to go. It has the feel of a border town, except the frontier is the end of the line, just sea, or nothing at all. How frightening it must have been to travel bravely, thinking that you might just sail off the edge into oblivion. The Belgrano set sail from here during the Falklands Conflict, and the sailors on that ship sadly didn't make dry land either. There is still a naval base here, and there are large, grey battle ships in the port, as well as the rusting hulk, creating picturesque foreground interest for the many photos we took of the bay.

    The taxi ride from the airport to the centre of town was dramatic - same snowy mountains, and the pristine Beagle Channel, seen by Darwin on his travels, when he accompanied the navigators who originally charted it in the 1800s. He liked the icebergs. In conversation with Miss Wardle on FB chat, it was suggested that I was like Phinias Fogg, and the whole area does have that sort of atmosphere - a rich history of daring (or mad) adventurers, trying to go where nobody has ever gone before in the whole history of mankind.

    On Monday we took a half hour taxi ride to the Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino or Railway Line of Southern Tierra del Fuego. Originally built as a freight line to transport timber to the prison of Ushuaia, this is where you ride the little steam train which takes you to the edge. We went for the upgrade. You get food - cordero (which is lamb) and sweet beetroot relish in a baguette, and sparkling wine and biscuits. Only one other couple went for this service so we had a plush (in an old fashioned and slightly cramped way) carriage virtually to ourselves. Think Judy Dench as Queen Victoria, being taken on a train ride through the Highlands. This was a very narrow gauge railway (only 500mm) that trundled through a weird landscape - an ancient forest of weather-whitened, petrified stumps of trees, through boggy marshes and past leafless trees (there don't seem to be many evergreens), draped with an Argentine version of mistletoe which doesn't have berries, in shades of bright green and autumn peach. The final view, before uncoupling, and shunting the engine for the return journey, is of mountains - sheer cut, super smooth, ice-faced, Eiger type peaks.

    The weather here is cold, very cold, with a biting wind, a strong gusting wind. We tried all day on Tuesday to get on board a boat to a couple of islands in the channel, so that we could see the wildlife (cormorants, sealions etc) and to trek across one island to see the plants up close. The morning boat was postponed until the afternoon - the captain said the wind was supposed to drop later. The wind in Ushuaia did not cooperate, and the whole port was closed by 3pm.

    We didn't really do anything in Ushuaia after the train trip, apart from eat, and wait, and be slightly disappointed. The snow, and even colder weather came on Tuesday morning, just before we set off down the hill at 4.45am to catch the 5.15 coach out - to anywhere else. The place we were headed was Chile - Punta Arenas for just one overnight, and then onwards the next morning to Puerto Natales so that we could see icebergs - our own voyage of discovery, and an eventful one at that.
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