Ushuai from Punta Arenas
Backpacking Eight Months On the Road
By Bus Through South America
By David Rice
Going South to Ushuai
Next I boarded a bus to Rio Gallegos and although it is to the north and I wanted to go south, there are no roads south from Punta Arenas.
I switched buses in Rio Gallegos and then headed south to Ushuai in Argentina, the most southerly town in South America. Here I had planned to end my South American journey.
When I arrived in Ushuai, however, I realized that about six ships were taking passengers to Antarctica and I found myself wanting to go along and to reach the absolute southern-most point in the world.
Two days of research told me that I would need some equipment and supplies. Antarctica was the topic on every travelers lips in Ushuai; the main street was loaded with shops catering to tourists heading for Antarctica. Early December starts the season although it was still cool and passengers would need winter garb.
I would need rubber boots, sunglasses, parker, and I reasoned, wine, cheese, and crackers. The local buzz was all about Antarctica and the word was stock up, so I shopped for some items in town. I bought rubber boots thinking that I would never find my size thirteens but was pleasantly surprised when I did. By the middle of the second day I had collected what I assumed was the needed equipment and now I was committed to go to Antarctica. I went to the tour office and booked the three-thousand dollar ticket. I would then wait three days for the ship.
Later I would find that the ship provided everything for a nominal price including rental of parkers and boots and all the snacks we would need.
In Ushuai, while waiting, I dined in style. Parrillas, restaurants featuring grilled lamb on a skewer Argentina style and also roasting chicken, beef, and sausage.
Lots of other activities keep the tourists busy including horseback riding, trekking, bicycle riding, skiing, and boat trips to islands. Some of the Islands in the area had penguins roosting on them and others had herds of seals.
I realized at this point how far south towards the end of the earth I had gone, the sun would barely set and it was soon up again.