Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Days 204 & 205: From 40 to 4

Our flight to Ushuaia was disappointingly mainly over water. But as we started our descent, the land unfolded beneath us with snow-capped mountains, deep valleys, glittering lakes, and rivers so meandering they appeared Escherian in design. We did a pass over Ushuaia from high above before circling around and swooping past all the ships preparing for expeditions to Antarctica on our final approach. We were landing at the 'End of the World', as Ushuaia likes to refer to itself. (For a more detailed view of where we have been so far, click here)

We stepped off the plane to a chilly breeze and a scene that looked like a Rocky Mountain postcard, with the addition of the ocean's shore. Even the airport was a cute lodge-style building with views of the surrounding mountains. The town has been liberally sprinkled with outdoorsy stores, cafes, duty free shops, steak houses, and travel agencies.

Our hostel opened up into a large shared kitchen with a wooden peaked roof, situated on the street corner. You could see the water from one side, and the mountains up the street from the other. Our dormmates again seemed quite tranquil, which we were thankful for, and after a lengthy grocery shop (most of our time spent in line), and a hearty dinner, we headed to bed. Erin was serenaded to sleep by a chorus of arrhythmic, tone-deaf snores, forever putting her off the concept of polyandry.

We kept our first full day relatively low-key, knowing we had lots of time ahead of us. We strolled the streets and the waterfront area, and got high enough up to get a gorgeous look at the harbour from above. It felt nice to be in sweaters and shoes after so many sweltering days up North!

The day ended with the most dramatic sunset either of us have ever seen. Thanks to our location, at the very tip of South America, the sun rises and sets in slow motion. The sky slowly changed from yellow, to orange, to pink, to purple, like an artist casually blending his watercolour paints. We ran back and forth to either side of the road we were on, never quite happy to admire the side we were looking at, as they were both so stunning. It was Craig who exclaimed that the full moon was rising up behind the mountain range, aglow in a wash of pink. We needn't say anymore, really...the pictures speak for themselves.

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