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Toon Traveller: Ushuaia Toon Traveller's down south and the boats have come in

Toon Traveller: Ushuaia

Toon Traveller's down south and the boats have come in

by Toon Traveller, Travel Correspondent
first published: December, 2019

approximate reading time: minutes

Customs post scanning, passport stamping, a one (drug) dog town...

Friday 8th
Solynieve, Friday’s snow flurries, skies mountainous grey, 2C, coffee ‘n’ cake, swish of white cloud, deep sweep of blue, ‘the sun machine is coming out and we're gonna have a party’. The two lakes walk, sol y sombre, birdsong calls, hedgerow rustles, squelching feet glooup,  chatter of nations, English, Spanish, Russians, and French, too…guides, English and Spanish, two Germans hands up, Spanish to German, Russian, and Polish too. For us Brits, dos cervezas.

Two lakes stroll, quick eyes, blink and they're gone, guanaco lamas, heads above danger ready to run, rheas like emus, but termites para mì gracias.  Beef feast corrida. Husky howls, leftovers for tea. Fishing fleet in, sea darker than blue, summer clothed youths, sharing icecream cones.

Graffiti I couldn’t ignore, up overnight, for all to see, for cruises and liners' first sight of Ushinia, shout of real pain, but no aggro for me, chatter and laughter, a dream to be chased, a loss not forgotten, but with la mano de dios their dream will come true.  ‘Il Papa’ the last judge, three rocks to Chile, different Pope now, one of their own, faith misplaced? Not what they say.

GrafittiSaturday 9th
P – P – P pick up a Penguin, well not exactly, Ph – Ph – Ph... Photo a Penguin, awesome cruise, scenery to die for, after clicks, checks, clicks, reviews, and deletions, gave up the ghost, can’t photo a feeling, or enlarge an awe, admitted defeat, savoured the sun, the light and views. A waveless sea, mirror flat, Ushuaia at dusk, violet, orange and blue. Dusk into night, streets alive, ‘?que ha dicho' ‘nada' no me vengas con esas', Fuenginos come out to play.

Sunday 10th
Steam train ride, puffing, jostling, clanking and clicking, powder puff clouds, tree stumps of silver, pastures of green where the convicts had been, felled trees, built Ushuaia. founding myths prevail, clickety, clack, 100 year strain, engine's puffed as any pensioner would be.

Parque natural, a walker's delight, fitness and guile, high flying birds, skydive, a splash, another fish gone, animal squeaks, all scratches and skrits, hidden eyes see monsters depart, arrive every day with sun at its height, no threat, no fright, traipsing their trails, by dusk they'll be gone, last hours of the sun, rheas and muskets feeding and play, resting  bones warming in the sun’s last glow of the day

King crab again, sea, boat, box, restaurant tank, kitchen, plate, tummy – what’s not to like, left restaurant humming an old TV song 

‘We an have a fishy, on a little dishy, when the boat comes in.'   Cape Horn beer, Top o' the morn, from the bottom o’ the world.

Monday 11th, 
10.00 in the morning,  city’s dawning, opening it’s shutters, greeting the day, café  chatter, calm and relaxed, Brooklyn voice calls ‘whiskey n beer’, head goes down, I'm not to be seen, he’s  solo like me, 6 hours more, different table, same slurred Brooklyn voice, ‘BEER n WHISKEY for me’ stumbles, pushes tourists aside, ‘outta my way’, glass bottom dregs are what I can see.

Tuesday 12th,
12 hours coach ride, Greyhound images run free, mountains drift by, snow collared now, last thaws begun, spiral descent into steppes, never ending and grey, sheep rare as hens teeth.  Hollywood images race through my head, Easy Riding, Two Lane Black Top, and Badlands bound, out of the green and into the grey.

Customs post scanning, passport stamping, a one (drug) dog town, short order cafe, ‘como to llama' its  Herta to Hietta, Ellis Island experience for free. Nothing to see, sky and ferma merge into one, onto the bus, oblivion is gone.

The Road
Wednesday 13th,
Punta Arenas last night, car horns pumping, sirens blaring, embers washed down, streets liquorice black, banks, broken and boarded, mobile phone places state offices too. Cafes untouched, continue their trade filled with ‘ladies wot lunch’, pinched faces there too.

Eats tonight, the centre of town, apprehension around, be prepared, stay alert, travel light, dress to run, Boy scout training done good and applied. 


More from the Toon Traveller in Outsideleft here

Toon Traveller
Travel Correspondent

Born - happy family, school great mates still see 7 / 8 in year, degreed, beer n fun, work was lazy but usually happy, retired. Learning from mum and dads travel exploits.
about Toon Traveller »»



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