Sunday, January 6, 2013

More Ushuaia...

Our first full day in Ushuaia we go up and enjoyed a nice breakfast in our hotel before heading over to the old prison museum for a quick tour.  Ushuaia was initially set up as a penal colony and a way for Argentina to stake a land claim to the base of the continent.

A section of the refurbished prison
The old section of the prison - without any updates it was freezing inside...

Bathrooms in the prison

After the prison and a quick lunch we went over to a travel agency and booked a tour of Tierra del Fuego and El Tren del Fin del Mundo for the next morning.  We then wandered over to the office for Areolineas Argentinas to ask about our luggage that was supposed to have arrived twice earlier and still was nowhere to be found.

There was some of that standard bureaucratic stonewalling and desire not to work from the guy at the agency in town but eventually we did get him to admit that our luggage was still in Buenos Aires but that it was going to be on the next flight and delivered to our hotel that evening.

With the assurance that our missing bag was on its way we were able to relax and didn't have to head over to the outdoor stores to buy new sets of the snow pants and long underwear that were packed in the that one bag.  We wandered the town some more and enjoyed some of the small little bars that are in Ushuaia.

That evening we had a nice dinner where we met up with Sharon from Polar Cruises, whom we had booked our trip with and two other people that would be traveling on the  cruise with us that had also booked through Polar Cruises.  Enjoyable dinner at Kaupe but we were again disappointed when we returned to the hotel to find that there was no luggage there waiting for us...

The next morning we were up first thing so that we could meet the bus down in front of the Rumbo Sur agency where we had booked our tour.  A short ride out of Ushuaia that was accompanied by an informative speaker and we are at El Tren del Fin del Mundo.  A rebuilding of the old train that used to take convicts out to the forests so that they could bring lumber back into Ushuaia to build the town.


The train winds up through the park and then at the end we are back on the bus to drive down to where the highway ends.

Km 3079 - the end of Route #3 in Argentina
Here we are - bottom of South America
 It was a great trip that got us back into Ushuaia just after 14:00.  We were set to board the ship anytime after 16:00, so instead of stopping for a needed lunch we quickly ran back up to our hotel to check if our luggage had finally found its way do to meet us.  If not we would have had a short window of time to run around and purchase some last minute clothes for the trip, but this time we were finally able to relax and breathe a sigh of relief as our missing bag was there waiting for us.

We wandered happily into town, grabbed a quick lunch, and then stopped by a local wine shop to buy a few bottles of wine to enjoy on the trip and a bottle of champagne that we planned to pop open after our first day at the Emperor Penguin rookery.  
Just before boarding - we are on our way...
Shortly after four we were boarding the ship and settling into our cabin.  We had a meeting with the captain and our life jacket drill before we headed to dinner and then retired to the bar to meet some of the other passengers that would be on this voyage with us....