Dodging a bullet

 

Once I crossed into Tierra del Fuego the weather changed for the worse.  The cold mist turned to a steady freezing rain that the wind whipped into stabbing needles.  The huge water filled pot holes in the gravel road made sure that any part of me protected from the rain was still properly soaked, but the gravel also let me keep traction despite the icy conditions.  It was a miserable ride, but at least I was still riding in the right direction.

The next morning I awoke to this.

Sure, it might have been cold, but waking to a bright cold day was about as wonderful a sight as I could have imagined.  Even the wind had dropped off to nothing more than a stiff breeze.  So off I went, with my teeth chattering through my smile.

By the time I arrived in Ushuaia, the clouds had rolled in again bringing a light drizzle with them…  But I had made it!  The end of my journey south.

 

Despite my rather grumpy expression, I really was quite thrilled.  It might not have been the most majestic of views, but it was a most satisfying one.  Thankfully, it was also one that didn’t include the sight of Ushuaia itself.

I hadn’t seen much in the way of pics of Ushuaia before I arrived, but I had it in my head that it would be a bit like Lom in Norway.  A nice tourist town with (fake) rustic charm.

Ah, no.

Ushuaia has a large commercial port, naval base, and its largest building is a casino.  There are a few pleasant buildings, but generally the town does its best to make the least out of its amazing surroundings.

It also seems to be the spiritual home for the Argentinian national obsession with The Falkland islands or Malvinas as they call them.  The highways have regular signs declaring that ‘The Malvinas are Argentina’ and monuments to the dead from The War abound.  Though, oddly enough, they never mention that the people of the Falkland Islands are almost all British and overwhelmingly in favour of remaining a British territory.  Strange that.

On my way North again, the sky had cleared up enough to get some spectacular views of the mountains surrounding Ushuaia.  I also stopped to thank my lucky stars that it was just warm enough to keep the road from freezing.  A twisting mountain road covered in black ice could very well have caused me to turn back as well.

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