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jon and marion’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 03 Nov 2007

Location: ushuaia, Argentina

MapHi all

the flight from santiago to puerto arenas was spectacular!! from the air, the flat farm land laid out like patchwork, butting right up to the base of these huge, steep and immediate mountains that in turn were like moonscapes with the extent of their bareness.

southward bound, farm land vanished along with human habitation as the mountains of the andes dominated; a snow encrusted, canyoned, river runshing, vast lakes, an active volcano"s previoulsy hidden mysteries exposed, chilian and agentinian coastlines glimpsed, all rush under us.

off the plane at peurto areans and into transit. back onto the plane and waiting, waiting, waiting.....can we fly into ushuaia? the snow is pretty heavy. maybe we will be snowed in and the airline will have to put us up until the weather clears. i checked with jon as to whether we should have anticipated this...no, he didnt think that it should have been snowing....hmmmmmm.

yes!! a cheer went up... we are off. the view vanishes, ice builds on the wings, the 25 souls on the plane whisper excitedly as the plane rollercoasters thru the snow storm. and we land in the middle of somewhere. cant really tell cause i cant see a thing! lol

thru customs (they are all the same unsmiling, unwelcoming buerocrats) to pick up our snow encrusted packs and hustled into an equally snow encrusted, taxi to find our ushuaian hostel for the nite.

our room in the hostel has a view over the city and the port. we can see the mountains surrounding....and sense the continent further south. we set off to explore the town, the locals call it a city but with only about 45000 inhabitants its not really that big. and it snowed. i have never walked in falling flaky dry snow, or any sort of falling snow! we found the tourist info centre which is open til 10pm along with most of the shops, thou dont try to buy anything between 2 and 6, cause they are all out having a good time then. and it snowed. we grabbed a bite to eat and exchange our chiliean pesos for argentian ones. and it snowed. we wandered around the town and saw the sights. and it snowed. got back to the hostel and fell into bed to watch the comings and goings of planes and ships thru the the falling snow. day comes early here, it was light at about 4.30am and it was snowing. i am smiling like a lunatic cause i have never seen so much snow! i am enchanted!!!

jons talking lunch now (which makes a change from crampons and ice axes) so we are off to do some planing over a very long lunch...we have a couple of travel agents working on our plans for a trip to antarctica...but in the meantime we have to decide when to fit in a tour up the beagle channel, figure out how the weather is going so we can do a couple of short hikes near the town and then a bit of a trip to the national park and a couple of glaciers and mt fitzroy.

we hope you are all well and happy and keep the messages coming from home...we love hearing from you.

love to you all
marion and jon