Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Ushuaia - Really The End of the World.

After an evening of Bingo (I lost), Trivia Reveal (we lost... though the answers were wrong and the quizmaster told me in a weak moment that we had the same amount of points as the winners, not that I'm competitive...), and just general revelry to celebrate a great trip - we moored overnight in Ushuaia port. Kind of a let-down after all the rocky eventful nights at sea! In the morning everyone disembarked and we headed for the town.

Ushuaia itself is a quaint small little village with the requisite tourist eateries, postcard shops and tour operators...and a marathon? Yep - the day we arrived they were having a marathon smack through the middle of town (well...on the ONE main road through).

Since we couldn't check in immediately when we arrived, we decided to throw on our walking gear and head for the chairlift to take us up to the local glacier. After 4 days of ice, we were simply gagging for more! The hotel receptionist kindly informed us that it was a 20 minute walk up the road, so we decided not to bother with a taxi. 45 minutes later, we finally made it to the chairlift after a long slog uphill in increasingly cold weather.

Having spent 10 minutes at the top realising it was another 2hr hike up to the where the glacier ice-cap would begin...and that we'd all seen plenty of ice recently and are inherently lazy... we made use of our chairlift tickets for the return trip and headed to the quaint little tea shop for a (well-deserved) hot chocolate and piece of cake. All that fresh air...

On the way down we decided to take the "hiking route" back to the hotel and must have missed a turn-off or other sign on the path as we promptly got lost in the middle of nowhere on a field. Lots of hilarity ensued as we all tried to navigate the muddy track with varying degrees of accomplishment (film clips available upon request and payment). It wasn't until we realised that our ENTIRE FAMILY was lost, no one knew where we were, and mobile phones didn't work that the laughter stopped...temporarily. :Luckily we backtracked and finally found the inconspicuous trail... (see picture below right with BRIGHT YELLOW MARKINGS).

After all that fresh air it was finally time to check in to our wonderful hotel in Ushuaia, the Las Hayas Spa & Resort hotel. I have to say up front that the name is a little misleading, but then Ushauaia IS AT THE END OF THE WORLD! They are a little too fond of their floral patterns, though the curtains in front of the bath are a nice touch... The Spa had a swimmingpool, hairdresser, mini gym and Squash Courts. My brother even convinced me to try out the latter. I am not a fan. Mainly because the stupid ball doesn't bounce, he's a great player, and I had to run into walls to try to hit the ball in time. Niiice.

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