Ushuaia - 'El
Fin del Mundo'
in Tierra del
Walking through the city.
February 1, 2006

I got to South America today! I was welcomed with hot, humid temperatures as I walked off the plane. Even though we didn’t have
to walk outside, the conditions were impossible to ignore. This didn’t feel so great with the fleece I was wearing.

I have already seen many differences between this part of the world and others. One of the most obvious is the prevalence of an
amazing thing called an ‘alfajor’ – a non-crunchie sandwich cookie-type thing that is filled with dulce de leche. I was introduced to
these at the airport. I already knew I was going to like this place…

When I got to the domestic airport in Buenos Aires, I found Alicia at the departure gate. We realized that we hadn’t even seen each
other since our Africa trip 1½ years ago. She caught me up on her time in Buenos Aires…and then it was time to get excited for our
Antarctica trip!

We finally got on the plane to Ushuaia. Time to get one more step closer to our Antarctica trip!

Then I was just hoping there would be an Antarctica trip. I wasn’t sure our plane would make it to Ushuaia as the turbulence was
some of the worst I have ever experienced. Silent prayers were being said on my behalf. They obviously worked because we ended
up arriving without any problems. Phew.

It was clear we had traveled quite a distance as I could barely prevent myself from letting out a constant ‘Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr’
every few seconds. It was freezing!

I knew absolutely nothing about Ushuaia before arriving. All I knew was that it was the port city where boats left for Antarctica. I
assumed there would be a few hotels and probably a handful or two of shops.

I was clearly misinformed. There are loads of options of places to go and places to stay out here. Many great chocolate shops, many
great cafes. There was even the walking town penguin and beaver (i.e. people dressed in furry outfits). I probably got more excited
than I should have when I saw the penguin. I had to have my picture with it.

When I say I knew nothing about this area before coming, I truly mean it as I had no idea it was on the island of Tierra del Fuego.
This was all news to me when I got here. It is also the southernmost city in the world. Apparently, there is a town in Chile that is a
bit further south but they say that doesn’t count. I don’t know if it’s because it is a ‘town’ or if it’s just because then Ushuaia can’t
claim the rights. Hmmm. In any case, ‘El fin del mundo’ are words that are seen all over the place (‘the end of the world’ for those
who don’t know any Spanish).

Alicia and I found some great places to grab little snacks and tea today. It was great catching up with her. We never run out of
things to talk about. We each can have something to say regarding just about every conversation topic. Tonight we spent most of
the end of our night talking about different books. Yes, this sounds nerdy. But I was enjoying it. The best part about having a friend
like this is that you can have an intelligent conversation and then 10 minutes later you can go back to your hotel room and turn on
E! to watch the Girls of the Playboy Mansion. Life is all about balance, right?

February 2, 2007

Today we slept in to our heart’s content. Which wasn’t very late for either of us in ‘normal people’ standards…but it was for our
usually-early-riser selves.

Ushuaia has won my heart over by having an excellent little chocolate café in town. A great place for Alicia to grab pancakes (con
dulce de leche) for breakfast…and for me to grab some chocolate for breakfast (yes, I actually ordered pieces of chocolate in the

We went to pick up my gear (i.e. parka, pants and boots) that I have rented for Antarctica. I am ready to go!!!  

I knew Argentina is known for shopping…but I had no idea it would come down this far south to Ushuaia. We stopped in a boutique
and I couldn’t help but buy a great blazer and a small purse that will look great with it. It’s so fun buying things that don’t exist at

Buying the clothes was
almost as fun as buying wine at the grocery store to take along with us for the cruise. I don’t think I
purchased a bottle that cost more than $4. One bottle even cost two pesos – or sixty cents in American money. We are excited to
see what that one is like. Move over two-buck Chuck! I left the grocery store with some fruit, sodas, yogurt, crackers and four
bottles of wine for the low cost of $13. Nice work, huh?

It’s crazy being this far south because it just seems to take forever for it to get dark outside. And time has been flying by before our
eyes. Alicia will look at her watch and say “Guess what time it is?” And I will say something like “I don’t know – 5:00pm?” And
then she will fill me in and let me know that it is actually already 9:00pm. For this reason, we’ve been eating dinner around 10:
30pm or so. Maybe those late-night metabolism theories don’t hold true for this part of the world? Hopefully???

February 3, 2007

We’re about to head across the street to go to the port! Antarctica…here we come!
Back to Argentina.
Down by the port.
Posing with the town penguin and beaver.