Monday 29 October 2012
Highlights: The snow capped mountains of Ushuaia
Last night it rained all night and then at 7.30 am the power went out for a few seconds, I was glad not to be in the European style lift (i.e. tiny) at the time. This made checking out a lot longer as the hotel’s systems took along time to come back on.
I was flying today from the domestic airport, which despite its name still has some international flights. This smaller airport is located next to the ocean and the wind and rain was causing some of that ocean onto the roads. Watching the water splash in the air as some planes landed on the small runway was also an experience, luckily I’m not a nervous flyer, at least not anymore.
The weather caused my flight to be delayed by about 2.5 hours, a lot of flights were a cells so I should consider myself lucky. Boarding was from the tarmac after boarding a bus. I was one of the first off the bus after strategically placing myself near the door giving up a seat on the bus. This meant I didn’t get very wet boarding the plane 🙂
The flight took about 3.5 hours with no on board entertainment so my best friend was my iPhone games, a very handy tool in situations like this. My iPad also came in handy while delayed at the airport.
Just before landing I had the interesting experience of looking out one side of the plane and seeing the mountains at our level, they seemed so close you could think we could hit them so easily. We were still very high, at this point so I realised that Ushuaia is likely surrounded by big mountains at least on one side. On landing the passengers started clapping, probably for not hitting a mountain on the way down.
My scheduled airport pickup didn’t show which isn’t a great start but the taxi only cost 40 pesos. On check in the hotel put me into a single room, not sure why as I didn’t pay for the single supplement for this very expensive tour.
Later that night I meet my fellow travellers for the first part of the tour Patagonia, all two of them, Ben Noonan (Australia) and Kurt Lybaert (Belgium). Can’t believe there is only three of us, at least for the first 11 days. When the Antarctica part commences apparently another 8 people will join not that it will be obvious with 140 plus on the expedition boat. I think the hiking in the first part might have scared a few people away. Hopefully I get on well with both my fellow travellers.
After the tour briefing I walked town and saw the awesome mountain range that obviously protects this inlet from the worst storms. The temperature for this are is going to be around 8 to 10 degrees, hopefully I get lucky with the rain while on this full day hikes starting in 2 days.