Heading down south a third Antarctic sumer in a row, I feel like I’m watching the introduction to the grandest most epic most anticipated film of all time. Except it is my life, and it’s all starting to feel so normal. The pain in my hip flexors remind me I’ve been flying for a day and a half, but the blast of fresh moist salty air tells me I’m in the oceanside Argentinian version of Banff. Ushuaia, in the land of fire: Tierra Del Fuego and the doorstep to Antarctica.
It’s such a welcoming site, seeming touristy at first, but for me it’s like a little holiday land. Every time I’m back from the Antarctic we all head to our favorite bistros bars and restaurants, laptop in hand to hear what has happened over the past few weeks and to catch up on news, the soft glow of the computer personify a warm hug from far away friends and family.
The cafe experience is delightful, genuine empanadas sit ready to be eaten, sipping a sunken chocolate “submarino” in hot milk makes for a deliciously fun hot chocolate. And always receiving sparkling water with any order lest consider it an insult, makes me feel like every glass of sparkling water feel like a kind gesture from a friendly stranger.
The beautiful National Parks here are wonderful to walk through, hopefully you might get to see one of the two mainstays of the area, the Red Crested Pecker and the Canadian Beaver. Yeah, 50 years ago someone decided that Tierra Del Fuego’s fur industry deserved a boost from the Canadian beaver. I suppose they imagined the runways of Buenos Aries adorned with coarse brown fur and leathery tails as high fashion embraced our furry little friends. Fast forward 50 years and 50 beavers has proliferated into 100,000 pairs, wreaking havoc on an ecosystem un-evolved and unprepared for such an onslaught. However the endearing personality of the beaver has won the hearts of tourists and Argentinians alike, oddly resulting in a pair of unusual mascots, both the pecker and the beaver rule the “end of the earth”. Seriously, awesome.
Yah, I’m glad to be back, I almost forgot too, I’m getting paid to do this. Heheehehehe.
Also, I just found out I’m going to South Georgia for a 6th time! Greatest place in the south BAR NONE! So happy right now!