The trip to Ushuaia from Santiago was spectacular and terrifying, the landing in Buenos Aires was one of the scariest we have ever done as we came in fast and hard in wet conditions and there was a real fear that we would not stop in time. I am sure that the pilots had everything in control and for them it was a normal landing however for us it was an uncomfortable experience. We also seemed to have booked the same flight as a team of rugby players and as the seats where similar to Ryan Air then these big guys spent most of the flight standing in the aisles, which in itself is not a problem however we had the misfortune to be sat in the middle of them all, basically Sybille as she had the aisle seat spent most of the flight having people rub their junk against her arm, head and anything else close to hand, she was not happy. The turbulences and the shaky landing reminded me instantly of the book I read ‘Miracle in the Andes’ or in German ’72 Tage in der Hoelle’. Its a true story of the only survivor of a plane crash over the Andes in October 1972. My seatbelt was as tight as it can be and after 4 hours we landed safely at Ushuaia airport.
Anyway we arrived in one piece and to be honest blown away by the scene. The town is nestled between snow-capped mountains and the view is astounding, the town itself is not so charming and is very much a normal working town that could be anywhere however the overall scene is humbling.
Ushuaia history is a very remarkable story; a people called the Selk’nam settled it about 10000 years ago. Since then there has been a number of different nationalities involved in the area and there was even a prison camp that was so inescapable it didn’t have a fence. Charles Darwin visited the region during the voyage on the Beagle. Nowadays the city lives on tourism from the skiing and national parks. It is also the gateway to Antarctica.
Today we trekked up the Martial Glacier, which lays 1050 meters above sea lever. We trekked for about 2 hours and although we didn’t reach the top it was still a spectacular view and a highlight of our trip so far.
Tomorrow we will board our vessel for our 10 day cruise to the Antarctic, due to the scary stories about 10 meter high waves during the crossing of Drakes passage we have bought seasickness pills. We have never suffered from seasickness however we have never had to deal with 10 meter high waves either. I am not sure if there is Wi-Fi at the South Pole so we may not be posting for a while.