Friday, March 2, 2012


Ushuaia is a port city on the Beagle Channel way, way south in Argentina.  Just before our arrival we found out that Cal was the only one pronouncing the name correctly, oo-SWY-ah, instead of the word we'd all been saying, oo-SHWY-ah.  Apparently not being able to pronounce your SH sound is good thing sometimes!
Cal found the ice cream in oo-SWY-ah
View of the port and the city behind it, from the Beagle Channel
The airport, right on the water.  Lucky for us it was extended a while back (I won't go into why.) 
Their motto here is "Ushuaia, fin del mundo, principio de todo, (end of the world, beginning of everything,)" although talk to any Chileno and they will challenge that because of the small port town of Puerto Williams across the channel and therefore further south.  (Port Williams only has a naval base and about 2,500 people living there so it isn't big enough to call a city, but it is further south.) We are at 55 degrees south in latitude, about the same (though opposite) of the Alaska peninsula.  The city is on the water and surrounded by mountains on three sides.  The mountains here are storybook peaks, the kinds children draw with triangular peaks on top and dramatic sloping sides.  It is just starting to look like autumn here with some trees above town turning hues of red.  The port is a bustling place for tourism with lots of options to see the channel, hop an ocean liner, or visit one of the many islands in the area.  It is also a big shipping port with a huge cargo boat docked right in front of the town with boxcars piled high upon it.

The town is very reliant upon tourism and almost every fourth storefront touts packages- Visit the Penguins! 4x4 Jeep Trips through Mountain Lakes! and the best one we've seen so far, Last Minute Deals to Antarctica, Only $4,000 USD!!!  Ushuaia is definitely pricey, but we've done a mix of tours and days on our own, to balance it out a bit.

King crab is a specialty here.

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