Ushuaia – El Fin del Mundo
This place is rough – dark, stormy, insane winds, surrounded by a black cold sea, jagged snowcapped mountains and the Straight of Magellan isolating it from the rest of the world.
A native tribe existed here called the Yámana. Their practice was to live naked in this extreme climate. Worked till the Europeans “civilized” adding clothes and killing them off with European disease and religion.
Rotten black snow piles up in the streets. Dog shit and trash appearing everywhere as spring thaws. The buildings are rugged, often abandoned and often halfway built and under construction. Dogs everywhere – mostly living outside – roaming the streets yapping. The main street, oddly is filled with all kinds of fancy ski shops selling clothes from US companies at twice the price we would pay. There is a good ski area here but still the shops look strange amongst the rugged background.
Restaurants don’t open until 8 PM – which seems the custom in Argentina. No fun pub like places to hang out. Little sterile pandarias (bakeries) are everywhere – always the same white flour pastries, white bread sandwiches with the crusts cut off and thin piece of ham and cheese. Sea food is good – king crab.
Ushuaia was developed as a penal colony has a interesting museum built out of what must have been a miserable prison.
Cape Horn has the skeletons of hundreds if not thousands of shipwrecks. The weather can be completely insane with wind picking up from nothing to 100 miles an hour in an instant. Apparently this port is a main starting point for Cruises to the ant Arctic.
Despite the ruggedness, the people are very friendly. Must be a really hard place to live.
Five arms radiate from the central hall – each a corridor of prison cells – shivers
Maps of the New World
The European explorers were figuring out the world really wasn’t flat. Magellan and others following him saw fires on the coast to the south hence came the name Tierra Del Fuego.
1500’s era and what is to become known as the Straight of Magellan on top
1716 getting better
1882 The Beagle Channel and Ushaia
Saint Christopher – a ground since 1957 in the heart of the Ushuaia harbor – originally a US World War II era salvage tug
Ushuaia and the Beagel Channel
The spine of the Andes as far as the eye can se
Fitz Roy – the peaks from the Patagonia clothes logo
La Boca – the original port of Buenos Aires
Kind of the Ellis Island of New York for Spanish and Italian immigrants in the late 1800’s – a touristy but rough around the edges area with lots of Tango dancing and the start of the graffiti art tour.
This one was tough to photograph but check it out – on the bottom it’s pile of money burning – on the top a skillet grilling little people
Artist named Blu – The world as pieces of a jigsaw puzzle surrounded by bodies – is it falling apart or coming together? The building is significant is the office of the original labor movement in the start of the revolution in Argentina 1905. Many of the revolutionaries were later prosecuted and sent to Ushuaia.
More re of Blu – tagged over on the bottom
Graffiti on grraffiti
River Plate v Huracan Futból
Bife de Chorizo
Bife de Chorizo – Argentinian specialty w a vaso de Malbec – this steak buenísimo!
Freida Kahlo 1942
8.29 Day Two
The 787 feathered onto the runway in São Paulo – no visa required – then flight to Buenos Aires. The ancient 737 – the cigarette ashtrays riveted shut with sheetmetal – headed south for three and half more hours.
Cambio a few pesos – about 9 to a dollar using the official rate – the “blue rate” is 15 to 1 but you must deal with the sleazy traders. I haven’t found them yet.
I met Daniel at Avenida Cordova for my airbnb apartment – good deal 50 bucks a night
Everything is stacked concrete – about 8 to 15 stories high. These many towers seem to be going out all over the place in between the older smaller buildings.
Palermo seems cool. Lots of little restaurants and shops. They say Buenos Aires is a nightlife city and I’m hungry and wandering around about four in the afternoon. Most of the restaurants are closed. But I find a little outdoor café and try out the fabled Argentinian steak. It’s horrible. Belt leather.
Back to my concrete platform a long travel and jetlagged sets in.
The Spanish here is different. Sounds more like Italian or Portuguese more melodic. My Mexican construction Spanish is ok but hard to understand the Porteños.
My concrete apartamiento
Good thing I arrive two hours early to LAX. After entering my info on the electronic check in the screen where the passport screener worked – unlike from my iPhone when trying to previously pre-check in.
Everything goes well passport checks out and screen says see attendant.
Lady enters her supervisor card – checks my passport – presses ok button – “where is your reciprocity form ?”
“Go see that tall guy over there he can help you out”
“Need to get your reciprocity form. You can do it online and email it to me so I can print it out but I’m going to lunch in an hour,” said Flemmon Cox @ United.
I knew about this $160 form but thought you paid at entrance to Argentina. Anyway after fucking around with my tiny letters and inputs on Argentinian government form on the iPhone I got it. I got a PDF link
Back-and-forth and back-and-forth with Flemmon about the method to print out the form “it won’t work.” Finally Flemmon brought out the beautifully printed copy of my screenshot ” it worked.”
Back to check in – back to the electronic screen – back to the supervisor
Reciprocity form OK
“Where is your Brazilian visa?
I don’t have a visa
You need a visa”
The Boeing 787 Is a spectacular flying machine – The windows have a little digital pushbutton that darkens or lightens the tint instead of shades. Engines are silent – perfect for a nine hour flight.