End Of The Earth
Where better location to kick off the New Year 2016 than in the most southern city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina? Where else can you walk down Main Street and be operatically serenaded by a woman who, in period dress, is perched on a building balcony? Where else are the bars empty until midnight then are overflowing at 5 AM? Where else can you find a restored prison in the center of town where you can visit the cells and learn about some of the creepiest criminals of all time? Where else is found (at times) the tastiest King Crab this side of the Bering Strait? And talk about winds. Ushuaia was our refuge from a cancelled visit to Cape May where the wind was so strong that (provide your own ending).
Getting to Ushuaia for norteamericaos is not an easy journey. You can drive the Pan-American Highway all the way down to “the end of the earth” (not recommended), fly in from a few Argentina cites or, like us, motorcoach travel from Buenos Aires through much of Southern Patagonia and then cruise in by ship (recommended).
Second time we have been to Argentina. The first was, a couple of decades ago, with my son, his best friend and his friend’s dad, a Pan Am sales rep and native Argentinian. Then, we experienced many insiders’ experiences of the country, the “good and the bad” and relished the late barbecues, visiting San Carlos de Bariloche (beautiful, lake-side town with the strongest dark chocolate in the world), staying on a large hacienda and getting to know many of the locals. The “bad” was when my son’s friend shot a beautiful buck deer, right through the eye ball and as it lay suffering on the ground more bullets were needed to complete the kill (riveting/horrific experience hoped to never repeat). And… no tango on the first go around. About the same time, a Peace Corps colleague turned Special Forces was hunting Argentinian Che Guevara down in the jungles of the Congo Republic.
This time was different. Go to Buenos Aires and miss the tango, NEVER AGAIN. We went to various Tango shows and danced the tango on the streets of Buenos Aires (costumed with hat provided, staged on the streets of Buenos Aires and worth every peso). Even had a pic taken with Che. Che was a little stiff but the real stiffs were my friend and I at this highly-touted, King Crab specialty restaurant. The waiter took our order including a relatively expensive bottle of Chilean wine. Only after the bottle was opened and poured did the waiter tell us that the crab was “No mas”. Stiffed in Ushuaia. Not the first or last time for a few visiting Gringos.
Written by Bob Utne, Chairman of EWA Travel