We've been in Ushuaia for about ten days now and feel quite at home here. We spent the first four nights in a very nice hostel that was more like a hotel than a hostel. We were about a 35-45 minute walk from downtown which gave us some needed exercise, especially on the return as a good part of the walk was uphill! Our second home away from home is a cabana with a small kitchen that allows us to cook some of our own meals. We will stay here for at least one night after we return from Antarctica.
Ushuaia bills itself as the southern most city in the world: "Fin del Mundo" (The End of the Earth) and has a population of approximately 60,000. The downtown area is laid out in an orderly grid-work pattern, but the rest of the city sprawls into the foothills of the snow covered 1500m mountains that back drop three side of the town. The south side is where the harbor is located on the Beagle Channel. The setting is quite beautiful and has been a very pleasant place to stay in the run-up to Christmas and our cruise departure date.
Christmas was low key here, but there were enough decorations around to remind us of the season. The grocery store was very crowded on Christmas Eve day as we jostled with the other customers buying our last minute items before the big holiday. The small kitchen (with no oven) dictated what we could prepare for Christmas dinner, but RA did a great job rustling up some tasty chicken soup.
The hostel staff left us a nice gift of a small chocolate Christmas tree and a bottle of bubbly--much appreciated. We had a great time opening our presents (most of which have been consumed) around the kitchen table while the wind blew and the rain came and went and came again.
The Polar Star sails at 1800 tomorrow and we will be out of contact until January 7. During that time I'll try to send some SPOT messages even though we will be out of satellite coverage according to the SPOT website. The Polar Star link to the left will probably only give you intermittent hits on our location; the site is a bit flaky, but is the best free one that I have found.
All the best in the New Year to all of our followers and friends; we'll raise a glass to you from The White Continent!!