Puerto Natales to Ushuaia

Saturday 19th December 2015

I woke up around 6.30am and went for brekky downstairs. Erratic Rock’s breakfast is known among backpackers for being really filling and great. Had a yummy brekky!
DSCF5590 (Medium).JPG
Here is the entrance area / living room. Very cosy!
DSCF5591 (Medium).JPGI got to the bus station and here was the first bus I was taking.
DSCF5603 (Medium).JPGAnd off we went, in the direction of Punta Arenas.
DSCF5610 (Medium).JPG
Here is a map to see where Puerto Natales and Ushuaia. A roughly 700km bus journey to the end of the end of the world!
Puerto Natales to Ushuaia.gif
At some point, the bus stopped in the middle of nowhere and I got transferred from the bus on the left to the bus on the right. Sure, euh..ok. If you guys know what you are doing!
DSCF5625 (Medium).JPG
We arrived at this random place where we stopped for an hour, waiting to board a boat to cross the channel.
DSCF5631 (Medium).JPG
I went inside.
DSCF5651 (Medium).JPG
I was hungry and I ordered a sandwich which turned out to be the crappiest sandwich of my entire trip probably!!
DSCF5650 (Medium).JPG
The interesting thing in this place were the frames on the walls, photos of the Tehuelche people and the way they used to live. There was a lot of reflection though and it was hard to get good shots.

The little lighthouse where we were called Boca Oriental.
DSCF5660 (Medium).JPG
A boat arrived and some trucks got out but it wasn’t our boat.
DSCF5664 (Medium).JPG
Then our boat arrived and we walked in.
DSCF5669 (Medium).JPG
The boat journey was pretty short, maybe 20 minutes, and uninteresting apart from one penguin surfacing and disappearing very quickly and a couple of common jellyfish.
At the arrival, two guys were holding some additional levelling for the bus.
DSCF5696 (Medium).JPG
We were driving in the direction of Onaissin.
DSCF5707 (Medium).JPG
When I had caught up with my parents in Santiago early November, my dad had handed over to me a couple of maps, including one detailed map of Tierra del Fuego. I had finally reached the moment where it came handy. It was really great to study it and get an idea of where I could be. Such an interesting part of the world with an endless empty landscape.
DSCF5711 (Medium).JPG
We passed these guys who were using this sophisticated machinery to build a new road.
DSCF5715 (Medium).JPGWe arrived at the border where we would exit Chile.
DSCF5751 (Medium).JPG
I laughed when reading the French version here. Small wink to French people. 😀
DSCF5754 (Medium).JPG
Getting an exit stamp on the passeport.
DSCF5755 (Medium).JPG
No-man’s land but almost in Argentina.
DSCF5776 (Medium).JPG
Getting an entry stamp into Argentina.
DSCF5780 (Medium).JPG
Then we arrived in Rio Grande, the closest maritime city to the Falkland Island, also known as Malvinas Islands, occupied by the British, that the Argentinians want to get back.
DSCF5785 (Medium).JPG
We arrived at the Rio Grande bus station around 6pm. In my bus were two other European girls, a German girl and a Danish one I think who were both also heading to Ushuaia but kind of living in their own world a bit, which was fine with me that day. I was catching up on blogging in the bus so didn’t mind not chatting for once.
DSCF5796 (Medium).JPG
Across the road was a panaderia where I went to buy some queso balls and empanadas. I was really happy to still have some Argentinian pesos as there were no ATMs or change counter around.

Here was our next bus, the Rio Grande to Ushuaia one. We took off around 6.30pm.
DSCF5805 (Medium).JPG
Ready for my last bus ride south. To the end of the end of the world, at the end of the end of my first South American trip. Whoohooo. Exciting and at the same time, saaad! Why do things always come to an end?
Rio Grande to Ushuaia.gif
The bus ride was magic. The landscape was gigantic. The emptiness of nothingness, everywhere the eye could see. The true Patagonia. I could imagine it foggy and windy and dark in winter and Tehuelches galloping in the steppes hunting guanacos. And the sky. The immensity of the Patagonian sky. It was exciting to be there, on that bus, at that moment and soak all of this in. We dropped some people in Tolhuin. We continued. At some point, there were many many trees chopped on the right. What was going on here? I wondered. To the left were mountains. To the right, some lakes. The sun was slowly setting down.

We arrived at this lake, Lago Escondido. Very pretty lake.
DSCF5867 (Medium)
Another shot, from higher up, before it disappeared from our view.
DSCF5870 (Medium).JPG
We passed a bus stop saying Ushuaia.
DSCF5882 (Medium).JPG
And here we arrived, at the edge of the city, constructing, developing.
DSCF5883 (Medium).JPGUshuaia is first of all a harbour where goods arrive.
DSCF5888 (Medium).JPG
Almost there.
DSCF5893 (Medium).JPG
And here we were. We got there around 10pm!!
DSCF5900 (Medium).JPG
In Rio Grande, I had realised that maybe it could be good to have a rough idea of where hostels were located and maybe send an enquiry so that I wouldn’t be searching a hostel for too long after this long journey arriving at 10pm, so I had searched on Tripadvisor, found one called Antarctica Hostel which had good ratings and sent them an email but had not had time to receive their reply. I decided to walk to the hostel and see if they had been able to book a room for me. Here are some photos of the walk in the streets of Ushuaia towards the hostel.

Made it to the hostel. They had reserved a bed for me in a 6-beds dorm. Great!
DSCF5913 (Medium).JPG
Next to the reception was this advert. Here we were, in Ushuaia, the main departing point for Antarctica. That made me dream!!
DSCF5914 (Medium).JPG
That advert made me dream too. Cape Horn! The Southern Point!
DSCF5915 (Medium).JPG
I went to the dorm and there was a British girl there living in New York who had just come back from the 19 days trip to Antarctica and a British couple who had just come back from the 10 days trip. Their stories and photos made me dream. It was really inspiring to be in Ushuaia, at the doorstep of Antarctica. I felt like one day, I would have to come back!!

Tomorrow, a chilled out day, sleeping in and exploring a bit of Ushuaia by foot! I reached the end of the world. Il mondo del fin del mondo. Whoohooo!!!