One of the things about travelling long-term is that after a while, we noticed that we were slowly losing our senses.
The first sense to go was definitely whatever fashion sense we used to have. Initially, this was planned and kinda borne out of necessity. We agreed we should just pack one nice set of “going out” clothes because we didn’t want our pretty stuff ending up in dubious laundromats. But after a period of living out of a backpack, wearing colour-coordinated clothes started taking a backseat to finding something that does not have (too many inconveniently placed) holes in them. Also… we must’ve been quite deluded to think that we would actually go to laundromats.
Fortunately, at this point, the next senses to go were our sense of smell and any sense of shame.
This was essentially the state of mind we were in as we prepared to embark on the 32-hour-long journey from Puerto Madyn to Ushuaia (apparently pronounced ooh shoo ahhhhh ya)
We figured that since we were gonna be spending a lot of time on the bus, the smartest thing we could do for ourselves was to get as comfortable as possible. We happily packed our warm socks, boots and heavy winter-wear in the backpacks and stuffed those un-laundered packs of stink into the luggage compartment of the bus. We were gonna make ourselves super comfortable, sipping red wine on the toasty bus in our t-shirts, thin jackets and our bathroom-going flipflops, thank you very much.
We were actually pretty smug at first. We were watching the hostile Patagonian landscape pass us by outside. We were in one of those infamously comfortable Argentinian buses, happily watching Robocop 3 (in Spanish), playing yet another game of Bingo and having one too many glasses of red wine.
I think we kinda forgot that we were journeying TOWARDS the city closest to the South Pole (or as it is known by its less dramatically foreboding nickname, Fin del Mundo – END OF THE WORLD!!!!!)… a journey that would see us go through three-buses-one-boat-transfers, as well as four-custom-post-crossings.
Yup, the first time we realized how stupid we were was when we had to get off the bus very early the next morning to change to another bus in Rio Gallegos… and then we were reminded again when we had to get off THAT bus to go through a veeery long custom check at the Argentinian border… this reminder went on for the entire day when we had to pass through the Chilean Checkpoint, another Chilean Checkpoint and then again through a final Argentinian Checkpoint. Somehow, Chile had (why not?) laid claim to a teeny strip of land on the road between Puerto Madryn to Ushuaia.
The proverbial (and pretty literal) icing on the cake was when we had to swap from the bus to a ferry ride across the Strait of Megallan.
Ever wonder what it is like to have sub-zero, wintery winds blowing against your very exposed appendages? I will be the first one to say… it doesn’t feel very good at all.
So was it worth it?
We got into Ushuaia around sunset, and I just snapped these shots with Jo’s Samsung phone…
At that moment… Our trip was starting to look really good.
There was one other little problem…
We had a 2km walk to our hostel in the cold, dark wintery night… and we couldn’t get our boots out of the backpack.