Going to Prison

Ushuaia Travel Blog

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Wing 1 - the prison exhibits (restored with artifacts and prisoner profiles in the cells).

I first woke up around 7:15 when roomie Cynthia woke up to go on her excusion to the Tierra del Fuego park.  It was raining outside and since it didn´t seem like she had the best gear, I offered her my goretex shell.  She declined, saying she´d be ok.  I hope so!   (But turns out the joke is on me...later in the afternoon it cleared up to be a gorgeous day!  I am now jealous I didn´t go with her!  But I hope the weather holds for another day or two when I get the chance to go.)

Anyway, I dozed off again until around 8:45am when - still coughing and sniffling - I couldn´t sleep any more.  The good news is my throat seems to be a bit less sore.   But my cough and nose are worse, I think.

I headed out to grab the coffee and bread breakfast.

Wing 2 - the art gallery.
  I wanted to hit the Prison and Naval Museum by 10:00am, in time for the alleged tour in English.  I showered, donned my fleece and my rejected goretex jacket, and walked in the rain down to the museum about 8 blocks away.

This museum was the biggest one yet.  It´s housed in the 100-year old prison of Ushuaia, which closed maybe around 1960 (can´t remember).  I´m not sure how famous the prison is - but it certainly is a big part of Ushuaia´s history.  The prison is odd-shaped, with a central hall and then 5 wings jetting out from the hall like bicycle spokes.  Each of these wings has two levels, with maybe 15 cells on each side and on each level.

Wing 3 - the "as it was" exhibit (no restoration or displays, just raw building).
  15 x 2sides x 2levels x 5 wings = 300 cells.  I think that´s about right.  Might be around 270.  Anyway, what´s interesting is that the museum uses each of these wings as a different themed display - each wing has it´s own look at feel.  Wing 1 is the official prison display.  Wing 2 has been complete redone and is an art gallery. Wing 3 is a historical, unrefurbished look at how the prison was back in the day, and includes the bathrooms, sinks, and shower hall.  Wing 4 is like a gift shop area.  Wing 5 is closed, open only for special exhibits. 

I meandered through the halls, finding some stuff terribly interesting and other stuff mildly boring.  All in all, I probably spent 2 hours roaming around.  Took some photographs too which I´ll post.

The center hall or hub, used as auditorium, gathering place, etc.
  (Note to self on boats:  the Monte Cervantes, sank off coast in 1930 and then tow attempts were made, but sank permanently in 1954; the Uruguay went to rescue the crew from the Antartica, a boat from Norway; the Sarmiento was a big "gunship" I think; other shipwrecks in Beagle Channel and surrounding area.)

Oh, by the way - the alleged 10am tour in English was a false alarm.  It doesn´t exist.  There is a tour.  At 11:30am.  In Spanish.  I didn´t go.

As I left the museum, the clouds were breaking and it was turning out to be a really nice day.  Bummer I didn´t go to the Park!  Let´s hope I get another chance in the next 2 days!

Back at the hostel, I did some internet and hung out for a bit.  Later that night, I shot some pool with roomie Cynthia, got some dinner at a pizza/pasta place, lounged in the upstairs area of Hostel Freestyle (watching some drunk French guys sing and dance along to French folk songs), and hit the nearby Dublin Irish Pub for a late night beer.

Self portrait. This might be cool blown up and lightened up a bit, I don´t know.

I  managed to steer clear of two potent, and arguably bad-tasting, drinks.  The French guys were drinking Bastis, some kind of liquor mixed with water.  Smells like licorice.  Gross.  And at the Irish Pub, some Argentinian guys were drinking Fernet con Cola.  Whew - I took a sip and one word....FUERTE!

I also strummed the Hostel´s guitar for a bit...playing what little I know of Dust in the Wind and Scarborough Faire.  Man, when I get back to the States I need to pick up my guitar and practice!  I´d like to get to the point where I can play a few songs.  In hindsight, that would have been a kind of cool thing to do.  Travel with my guitar and force myself to focus on learning....since I have so much spare time these days!




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Wing 1 - the prison exhibits (rest…
Wing 1 - the prison exhibits (res…
Wing 2 - the art gallery.
Wing 2 - the art gallery.
Wing 3 - the as it was exhibit (…
Wing 3 - the "as it was" exhibit …
The center hall or hub, used as au…
The center hall or hub, used as a…
Self portrait.  This might be cool…
Self portrait. This might be coo…
The as it was wing in a black-an…
The "as it was" wing in a black-a…
photo by: xander_van_hoof