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jon and marion’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 11 Nov 2007

Location: Ushuaia, Argentina

MapHi again to everyone.
We ran across a bit of a celebration here in Ushuaia that not even many of the locals know or cared about! It apparently was National Gaucho day. Gauchos are cowboys so we figured it was a celebration for the local estancias. They held up traffic and caused all sorts of problems for the non gaucho’s trying to do their shopping! There was lots of Viva el Ushuaia and Viva la Argentina being yelled along with a lot of whooping and hollering and boys are boys whether they are in cars or on horses, they like them to dance and swerve and go fast!! Even the older men were making their horses perform. Each group was announced with lots of fanfare and they rode past the governor and doffed their hats. The military guard of honour had machine guns! They have a very interesting national anthem, with all sorts of jiggy music in the middle of this very serious sounding music. The few locals who joined us to watch the proceedings all either mouthed or sang the words with suitable national pride. The people and the horses were all decked out in colour groupings and the horses were particularly pretty with their chains rattling as they danced along the street.

We have also got a bit of a list going for some unusual things in Ushuaia.
The streets here are mostly one way (same as a lot of other cities we have been to) but here the traffic going up and down the hills have right of way. No wonder we were confused!
The people here drive very fast or very slow.
The drivers do not give way to pedestrians
Pedestrians are very cautious about crossing the road (all that ice and snow in winter…sliding cars and all that)
The locals still know nothing about their own area.
There are a lot of English speaking people here
They have their political elections on a Sunday.
The style of architecture is eclectic and quality of buildings variable (to say the least!). Man power is still used in preference to machinery. We watch the road builders spread the tar with long brooms.

We have about 3 hours to go before we embark and the wait is killing me. Our luggage is on board already, and when we join the ship we have to go thru all the safety drills and make sure we can get into a life boat and all that stuff.

We bought a couple of thermos cups to hide our grog in... And we have so many dry biscuits that we could start our own shop! Apparently they are good for not vomiting on an empty stomach! Sounds like fun doesn’t it!! Jon is already trying to practice. He cooked something that smelt like his old runners and really impressed everyone at the hostel. It was an old bit of salami that he thought tasted a bit funny the day before...the cooking was designed to get rid of the green stuff growing on it. oh well he is still alive and hasnt shown any symptoms of food poisioning...his luck is holding!


We have a few ¨happy birthdays¨ to send out...Happy Birthday Carol from Passionut...Jon was wondering if you had met the criteria for the seniors card yet? and Happy Birthday John Turnball...how is grandparent hood treating you?

Well thats about it for now. I am very impatient and Jon is being very patient with my impatience! GAP Adventures is the name of the company, we are doing the Shakelton tour, on the Explorer for those of you who want to check out what we are up to.

love to you all
marion and jon