DAY THREE (Feb 18)
Okay, so many of you have been bugging us for photos, and they start today! So sharpen up your eyeballs and get ready!
We take off from Buenos Aires around 11:00AM and soon we make a stop in a small town called Telew, Argentina. Most of the passengers on the plane depart and a few board. So with a half full plane, something you rarely see anymore, we take off again and land in Ushuaia, Argentina. Also known as “Tierra del Fuego” (“Land of Fire”) and in an area known as “Patagonia”, this town (city?) is nicknamed, “Fin del Mundo” (“End of the World”)
(Etymology: The name Patagonia comes from the word patagón, which was used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native tribes of the region, whom his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed that the people he called the Patagons were Tehuelches, who tended to be taller than Europeans of the time. This might explain some phenomenon we encountered on our trip to Machu Picchu several years ago)
Our luggage nowhere in sight, we have another uneventful flight to Tierra del Fuego. We check on a whim, but our luggage did not make the plane. So off we go to our hotel in Ushuaia. This is a quaint little city, the southernmost in the world. It is cool and a crisp 35 degrees Fahrenheit here even though it is summer in this part of the world. Sure glad I bought a sweatshirt in Miami, knowing the chances of having luggage upon arrival was slim to none.
The views out of the Commercial Airliner windows were Stunning!
It is now day 3, our flight to Buenos Aires using up one night and we have nothing to do but check out this little city built on a hill that once used to be a penal colony. Contact with the airlines still assures us that we will get our luggage soon. We hope so because we are in day 3 with the same clothes on. We acquired some underwear and sweatshirts in Miami just in case and we are at least glad for that. We now have a day and a half before we need to turn that luggage in to the ship for our Expedition even further south.
Ushuaia turns out to be quite the bustling place with a circuit of one way streets lined with restaurants, stores and shops that open around 10 AM and close from 1 to 4 PM for siesta and open again until around 8 PM. We spy some Patagonian Adventure Gear Stores and make note of their locations in case we need them. We even find a “Hard Rock Café” in Ushuaia of all places! We stop in and have a drink just because when are you ever going to be in a Hard Rock Café in Ushuaia? So the end of Day 3 comes and we find ourselves having dinner in a fabulous lamb restaurant. The chef tells me he cooks 10-12 full animals each DAY! And he cooks them on a revolving smoker/cooker and what you order is a ‘chunk’ of lamb and that is what you get! Lamb, skin and any offal that happens to come along with it. Not being a fan of offal, (I believe that whomever named it ‘Offal’, knew what he was doing!) but the lamb was perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection!
After dinner, we strolled back to the hotel and ended up getting lost at night (It was after 11 PM so it was dark) and wandered this way and that until we eventually found our hotel. Never felt worried at all for our safety. Passed many people and everybody greeted everybody as friends! We have another chat with the airlines in an unfruitful attempt to acquire our lost luggage. So we turn in for a night’s rest in a hotel bed.