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Bus, Boat and Back to Argentina and the End of the World in 12 Hours

ARGENTINA | Sunday, 13 January 2008 | Views [677]

We're getting pretty comfortable with the routine of crossing borders between Chile and Argentina.  Just as comfortable as we are now with 12+ hour bus rides.  Today's ride is only 12 hours and all during the daylight, so we get to see the terrain all the way from Puerto Natales to Ushuaia - the "End of the World" as the Argentineans call it.  We stop a couple hours into the drive to ferry across the Straight of Magellan, and we've now entered the super windy region - as if we haven't experienced real wind yet.  We finally make it to the San Sebastian border crossing where it's smooth sailing.  Argentina land borders are a breeze compared to going the opposite direction into Chile.  In Chile, we're now used to the drill, they unpack everything in our bags.  We're also still paranoid entering Chile that they'll hit us up for the $100 reciprocity tax.  But now we're heading back to Argentina, we can bring in our fruits and meats, so we can relax and not have to inhale all our food in 10 minutes at the border.  The good thing about Chile's restrictions are that they've been able to preserve their fruit and veggie industries.  In fact, Chile is the only place in the world that can grow the Carmenere grape, ones that came originally from Bordeaux, France.  Now these grapes have been overrun with the Phylloxera plague, and the only place that produces them, without risk from the plague, is Chile.  So for the inconvenience, we'll deal with it, knowing that when we're in Chile, we're eating disease free and organic products.

We finally arrive in Ushuaia around 9:00 p.m. and find ourselves a bit out of luck trying to find a place to sleep.  Luckily it's light out until nearly midnight, and by time we get to the fourth place, they actually help to call around to other more remote hostels, trying to find two beds somewhere in town.  We get the last two beds in a little hostel up a steep hill.  By 11:00 p.m. we're settled into our bunk beds, and heading out to the local Irish pub for a beer and late night snacks.  the sky finally grows dark just after midnight, and with the darkness we call it a night.

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