the End of the World!
Wed Aug 28, 2002 9:04
No, it's not Armageddon, it is Ushuaia (pronounced yoos-why-ah).
Patty and I have made it to the southernmost town in the world. (or so they
claim). It is a big improvement over Rio Gallegos, where we just spent the
night, and an even bigger improvement over Comodoro Rivadavia, where we
were three days ago.
The highlight of Comodoro Rivadavia is it's petroleum museum, which if Patty
or I were remotely interested in petroleum, we would have gone to see. As
it was, we got conned into a pretty lame city tour that included a walk
around the OUTSIDE of the museum, which was enough for us. Yay petroleum
During this 20 peso city tour, we puttered around in a van at about 20 mph
for about 3 hours with 6 other people, a small girl, and the tour guide.
We drove by the cathedral, which prompted squeals of "que lindo"
(how pretty) from the other passengers. Patty and I both thought, though,
that the church appeared to be covered in sidewalk tiles. Not all that attractive,
if you ask me.
We stopped at a pier along the way and got pretty dang close to some sea
lions, closer than we could have possibly gotten on the Peninsula Valdes,
but they were smelly, and when they weren't set against a natural backdrop,
they lost some of their charm.
Next stop was a "scenic overlook" of Comodoro Rivadavia. It gave
a us a good feel for the size of the place, but the view was less than spectacular.
From this vantage point, though, we could see the big holding tanks for
the petroleum in the distance.
The following day was quite possibly the longest feeling day we've had so
far. We had from when we woke up in the morning till 12:40 that evening
to kill in Comodoro. Basically, we read a LOT. It was cold and grey, and
the town was so boring there wasn't much else to do. Also, when we finally
collected our bags at the hotel to ship out, we were captured in conversation,
no, make that monologue, with one of the hotel desk workers. Once he found
out we were American, he went into this big schpiel about how G.W. was going
to bring about World War III, because he was a crazy man who was going to
attack Iraq. And Cheney, well, he wasn't any better either. And what about
all that stuff with Enron? What IS the world coming to? Heck, I'm an old
man, so if the world goes to hell,so what, I'll be dead in a few years.
You girls, you are young and will have to live with it. Sigh . . . (and
it went on from there)
The best we could do was nod our heads and hope he would let us go, which
eventually he did when we let him know we had a bus to catch.
When finally ON the bus, we find out that our semi-cama bus was not a semi-cama
bus after all, but a regular old bus that is not built for proper sleeping.
Fortunately, there were only a few passengers traveling to Rio Gallegos
with us, so we were able to spread out over two seats each. We WOULD have
slept fairly comfortably, if the bus hadn't made a stop at 3:00 am and another
at 5:00 am. It also would have helped if the guy in front of us could have
stopped snoring for half a second.
Also, if you think Battlefield Earth or Swann are bad movies, you should
see K-911. SPECTACULAR. Patty and I didn't even have to watch it to tell
you how wonderful it is. The sound was quite enough for us to figure that
out. Rent it at your local Blockbuster only if you are feeling particularly
Rio Gallegos is not much more exciting than Comodoro, but it has a much
nicer small-town vibe that made it more tolerable to stay there. Also, our
hotel room was much more comfy.
From Rio Gallegos, we took a plane today to Ushuaia, us two lonely little
girls on a plane full of blue-collar guys that kept staring at the stewardesses.
Not the most pleasing trip, but it was worth it to arrive here. The scenery
is spectacular-- the town is completely surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
There is no snow on the ground where we are at th e moment, but the ski
resorts are still open. We may try dog-sledding at some point.
Tomorrow, we head over to the national park to do some light trekking. Should
fill up the better part of the day.
Ciao amigos! Alison and Patty