Hitting Bottom: Ushuaia, Argentina

My travel writing colleague and photographer John Flinn recently ventured to the end of the world as we know it. It’s called Ushuaia, an Argentine town of 50,000 in Tierra del Fuego.

Pronounced “oosh-WHY-uh,” it’s better known as the world’s southernmost city. I’ve been to the other most southern city — Invercargill in New Zealand — and can imagine how much more rustic the South American version may be.

John had his taxi driver take him south of town a few miles to the end of the Pan-American Highway, which is Argentina’s Route 3. Where the gravel ended with a turnaround was a sign marking the spot: “Fin del mundo” or “End of the World.”

In this area famed for its Grand Teton-like granite spires, gorgeous glaciers, year-round blustery winds that are so strong they can knock people down, and Magelleanic penguins (black-and-white, not orange-chested like those in “March of the Penguins”), you can dine at an asado. This is a traditional Argentine meal featuring huge slabs of roasted meat, lamb, chicken and chorizo sausage.

John stayed at the Patagonia Villa, which is a 10-minute walk from town and a good-sized double room is just $95 US.

For more information, visit www.argentinaturistica.com, then find “Tierra del Fuego” and click on “Ushuaia.”

Read his entire story at SF Gate.

Posted by Gil Zeimer on May 01, 2006 in Travel

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