It's The End Of The World As We Know It (Do I Feel Fine?)
Ushuaia Travel Blog› entry 36 of 115 › view all entries
The question that most people have about travelling to Ushuaia is simple: "Is it worth it?"
It's a question that I've asked myself pretty often over the last month or so and the answer has always been "Yes - just shut up and do it Salad." This answer has little to do with my old friend Senor Logic and everything to do with a romantic, yet persistent, notion that took up residence in my brain and has shown no inclination of packing up. This notion has continually urged me onwards to the bottom of the continent, accepting none of Senor Logic's very practical reasons for copping out and turning my snout back north.
These practical reasons include pearlers such as: "It´s a bloody long way, it's expensive to get there, it's expensive to stay there, it's expensive to get back, other people have said it's not worth it, It'll be cold, You'll end up with six extra stamps in your passport that you don't need, you can't afford to go to Antarctica or Cape Horn so why bother?" And so on.
Senor Logic normally wins the arguments that take place in my head. This time however, the good ol' romantic notion just wouldn't back down and eventually won out, possibly for the first time since I defied a common sense "No, no, no..." response to the sugar-coated commercialism of Valentine's Day and took an ex-girlfriend to see Casablanca at the local flicks.
Ok I admit it, it's a fair cop: I only went to Ushuaia so I would feel that I had achieved a personal macho goal having travelled, entirely by bus, from above the equator in Ecuador, to the bottom of the continent. I reckon it's the same type of irrational notion that drove Captain Scott and his team to the Antarctic Pole only to find that they were second to the Norweigans. And couldn't get back. And were going to freeze to death in a white wilderness, far from their loved ones. Yeah that's right - it's exactly the same. Except for the bits about not getting back and dying obviously. And I don't have any huskies. Or goggles.
So what is there to actually do in Ushuaia, once the self-congratulation over actually getting there is completed satisfactorily? Well, you can do some nice walks, see a glacier, take a cruise on the Beagle Channel and spot sealions and birds and things, buy some tat, go to a museum, muse about the meaning of life over a burger and chips... Basically nothing you can't do in other, much easier to access places, much further north. However, the difference is that afterwards, you can smugly announce: "I did it at the most southerly city in the world (TM) - check me out!" I reckon that I'll be wheeling this phrase out whenever possible; far too many bread-based bus company meals says I've bloody earned it.
p.s. The Ushuaia prison museum is genuinely absorbing, even if you harbour only a passing interest in history or prisons. If you're gonna make the trek down here, then you could do much worse than pay it a visit. The best bit is about this very small, but very psychotic child killer with really big ears. He was called Big Ears Sanchez or summat. The other prisoners beat him to death after he butchered the prison's pet cat. I love a happy ending don't you?