Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina


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It's the End of the World!
Wed Aug 28, 2002 9:04 pm

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 pumps.

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 masochistic.

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
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