<oesjwaija> Also known as the end of the world. It is the most southern city of the world and from here you can drive to the most southern point and it is located in Tierra del Fuego. Which is pretty close to Antarctica which means that in summer the average maximum temperature is around15°C. It is also a highlight for many overlanders driving the Pan Americana. Although we never specifically chose to drive the Pan Americana and we never started at the most northern point (Prudhoe bay, Alaska) it was still a goal we wanted to reach. And we did so at the longest day of the year (at least here at the southern half), the 21st of December. We reached this milestone after driving 38.042km since arriving in Mexico one year and ten months ago. Contrary to many overlanders however, reaching Ushuaia wasn’t the joyous occasion it was supposed to be. Here we were very much confronted with the fact that only two of us made it here. We still miss Binkie so much and he should have been there, he deserved to have been there. So yes we took the almost obligatory photo with the van at the entrance to Ushuaia, but we didn’t jump for joy or had a toast or anything. Instead we went shopping for the necessary groceries.

After that we drove to the municipal camp ground near the train station where there were already many other overlanders. Traditionally overlanders gather here to celebrate Christmas and / or New years eve together and we had also planned to spend Christmas here. Ushuaia is located in a very nice green area with forests and streams. So we had planned to do a bit of hiking and in Kilian’s case, biking. But although it was now officially summer, the weather reminded us more of the dreary weather of November in the Netherlands. Lots of wind, some rain and wet snow and temperatures below 10°C. Not ideal for camping in a van with a tented roof. We explored Usuaia a bit and luckily there were many other people to talk to and get to know, so whenever the rain and wind abided some, we would stand outside around vehicles, wearing all our winter clothes to share our experiences. Fortunately on the 24th of December the weather also got in the Christmas spirit and decided to let us have some sunshine and a lot less wind. Which was a good thing as we had planned a get together around a campfire on Christmas eve. Before this however we had two nice surprises in the afternoon. First the police came, but instead of their usual uniform they were dressed as Santa Claus and Christmas elves and handed out candy! What a lovely surprise by the police! And then our overlander friends Richie, Abigail and their daughter Zoe, 4 years old, arrived! (IG meataroundthewordl) We had met up several times in Central America and in Colombia but since then we hadn’t been able to meet up again. We had kept in touch online, but obviously that is not the same. We knew they had planned to be here for Christmas as well, but their plans change even more than ours do and we also knew Richie’s dad, Peter, was coming for a visit so they might just wanted to spend time as a family, understandably. So it was a very pleasant surprise when not only did they decide to stay at the campground as well, but also invited us over to dinner at Christmas day at the apartment Peter was staying!

Somewhere in the early evening we gathered around a small campfire (no bonfires allowed due to the risk of forest fires) and shared, drinks (mostly :)) some food and fun. It was a strange Christmas eve though with all the light. With over 20 hours of daylight it never got really dark, which is of course completely different from Christmas in the Netherlands where it’s dark around 4 pm. So even though we went to bed well after midnight, it was still light enough to not need any flash lights. Weird or not, we had had a good time! On the 25th we drove to Peters house early in the afternoon. Richie, Peter and Kilian stood outside in the garden to drink beers and grill meat (they’re not called meat around the world for nothing) Abigail and I chatted inside, I’ll admit it was very nice to be in a house again, out of the wind and cold. After an excited Zoe opened her presents, we had dinner together with Smriti and Kartik, 2 overlanders from India. This is rare, almost all overlanders come from Europe or some from the USA. After a lovely dinner we drove to the Ushuaia letter sign with our three vans, to take some photo’s. Richie, who loves photograpy kindly shared some of his photo’s with us. After this we went our separate ways. For once Meat around the world would be travelling faster than us, so Peter could make the most of his time here. As overlanders we say a lot of goodbyes and often you just have to hope you’ll be able to meet up again.

We stayed one more night at the campsite and then went to visit the national park which is also called Tierra del Fuego. We wanted to get a postcard stamped at the “post office at the end of the world”. But both days we were there it was closed unfortunately. We did have a nice camp spot there and went on two short walks. We also took more photo’s because Ruta 3 ends in this park so of course we had to get photo’s of the “end of the road” sign. This is the end of the asphalt road.

However there is a dirt road, ruta nacional 24J, to cabo de Hornos. This is the most southern point you can drive at the world, the road ends at S54.97570, W66.74464. It was a scenic drive, but also horrible windy. Patagonia is infamous for being windy and this reputation is well deserved. Several times we couldn’t open a specific car door, stuff gets blown out of your hands, unzipped jackets, sunglasses and scarfs get blown off and once even my skirt was blown half way down my legs! Sometimes it felt like trying to get to sleep in a roller coaster, even with the roof down. We had lunch at this most southern point, but didn’t stay any longer. On our way up north again we were lucky enough to spot a King Penguin. Usually you have to go to a reserve of do a tour to Antarctica to see those. The penguin was just sitting there alone, we suspect it was sitting on an egg.

We left Ushuaia behind us but before we would also leave Tierra del Fuego behind us we stopped at a forest area where we drove a 4×4 track. Off road tours from Ushuaia take tourists here in jeeps but it is open to all. We had fun,driving the track twice. The 2nd time we decided to camp half way at a nice meadow. It was now the 31st of December and since neither of us cares about New years eve, this remote spot suited us just fine. We had a quiet evening, no fire works and we were actually in bed by 11pm :).

2 thoughts on “Ushuaia”

  1. Hallo Marcia en Kilian,
    Ik heb samen met ons mam vaak jullie reisverslag gelezen en jullie reis gevolgd. erg mooi wat jullie allemaal meemaken en beleven. Helaas kan mijn moeder hier nu niet meer van genieten. Ik blijf jullie uiteraard wel volgen samen met ons pap.
    Ik wil jullie ook nog graag even bedanken voor de lieve kaartjes en bloemen die Harrie, Paul, ik en ons pap van jullie hebben ontvangen na het plotselinge overlijden van ons mam.
    Geniet van de mooie tijd die jullie nu doormaken.

    • Hallo Dave,

      Tja “graag gedaan” is misschien niet helemaal de juiste reactie gezien de omstandigheden, maar een kaartje en een bloemetje leken me wel het minste. Hopelijk hebben jullie de draad weer een beetje kunnen oppakken. Ik denk graag dat de overledenen ons toch nog zien en “volgen”. Groetjes ook aan oom Hans


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