Ushuaia, Argentina is often referred to as the southernmost city in the world. There are small towns further south, but this is a differentiation that most people don’t bother to mention. Signs, shops and t-shirts all over town exclaim this is the Fin del Mundo, aka the end of the world. Sounds a bit menacing to me, but I can appreciate the literal meaning.
Mountains surround the town on the northern side and from a distance to the west and south and east as well. Ushuaia sits on the north shore of a bay and is a busy tourist port city in summer months, from roughly November through March. Boats leave regularly for Antarctica from here, so we are very nearly at the end of the earth.
Riders and overlanders from around the world make the pilgrimage to this place, usually at either the start or end of a long journey. And when we post that we have arrived, several people send messages to let us know who else might be in town now too.
Someone from a Horizons Unlimited forum messages to suggest we drop a line to Steph Jeavons who is currently working on her Seven Continents ride and is preparing to sail to Antarctica with her beloved bike, Rhonda.
Brian and I meet up with her and a crew from the boat for drinks and dinner one night. It’s inspiring and crazy-interesting to hear about her upcoming voyage.
We take a stroll the next day and stop by to see the boat she will be sailing on, the Icebird. And she is gorgeous, but somehow seems so small to me when I try to imagine crossing the infamous Drake Passage in her.
We get a lovely view of Ushuaia from the dock side across from the center of town.
Brian and I wander around town….I take a pic with a local dogwalker’s charges. I pick up and mail a few postcards to loved ones. We stock up on groceries and fresh produce to enjoy while we are in town. I take my laundry to an actual laundry to be washed in a washer and dried in a dryer, something I haven’t done in months (I wash them out in the sink and line dry them normally). We have a few pints and chat with other riders. An Aussie couple at our hostel, Stew and Janell, are traveling with their sweet dog, Pachita. So I get to catch up on some puppy love too. It’s wonderful to relax.
After nearly a week here, we start to see old friends arrive at the finish line as well. It’s wonderful to be able to celebrate with Markus and Karin on a Thursday evening, and then Jim on the next day.
And after even more time, we finally make the journey out to the official end of Ruta 3, the national highway that runs south through Argentina, at Bahia Lapataia. Several people messaged me to be sure we knew the road went further west and south of town and to be sure to get all the way to the end.
So one evening, being cheap, we ride out and into the park at 8pm just as the park stops charging entrance fees for the day, and ride out to the famous sign for a photo.
Sunlight is nearly gone this late in the day, and some animals are settling in for the night. We happen across a couple of foxes (they are very common here) in the park on our way back to Momo’s for the night.
Well, then, it’s official. Now we ride north.