Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The end of the world

Tierra Del Fuego, the land of fire, is the end of the world, the end of the earth.
It gets its name from the Arora borealis or night lights that are sometimes seen here. These occur as a result of protons and electrons getting caught in the Magnetic fields in the skies above the north and south poles. it is a beautiful phenomenon but I have not seen one yet, though I am hopintg I will.
It is the land farthest south on our planet. Ushuia is the most southern permanant human settlement on Earth. I am in Ushuia. I have been here for 5 nights and 4 days and I will leave tomorrow to go to Puerto Madryn farther north on the Atlantic coast of Argentina.
The original human inhabitants were a human sub race called the Yamanas. Darwin didnt think they were actually human and thought he had found the "missing Link". They lived here peacefully and in harmony with nature until the 1890s when the white men came. There were about 10,000 yamanas in 1890-all were extinct by 1910. Most of them died from diseases introduced to them by Europeans for which they had no immunities. The chief killer was Measels. Some were hunted some were enslaved and some were killed when ranchers poisoned their food supply. In an effort to tke over their lands.
As a part of the Republic of Argentina, Tierra Del Fuego was lightly populated for decades. Then they built a prison here and made it a prison/work farm island. The town of Ushuia grew up around the prison where Argentina sent its worst criminals, mass murderers and the like. Its isolated location and the frosty subantarctic waters separating it from the mainland, made escape impossible and life rather dreary. Today the prison is closed as a prison but is open as a Museum of the Maritime history of the territory with replicas of famous explorers and pirates boats like The Beagle(Charles Darwins ship) and Sir Francis Drakes boat and many more. It is also a museum depicting the life and conditions of imprisonment for the inmates. It cost 15 pesos to go in, so in I went and it was quite interesting but a little depressing. I went with a couple of Israeli men and two Irish women whom I met at the hostel I am staying in and we all felt about the same.
Modern day Ushuia is a thriving tourist town for about 4 months of the year and I am here now in the last month of the busy season. All the shops and hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes are still open though many will close when the weather turns.
As far as food is concerned (my favorite subject) Here in Argentina Beef is king. The beef is excellent and very popular and cheap. I was given good advice from some locals in Miramar to try the Cordero (lamb) while I was in the south. It is superb. The best lamb I have ever had. Not to offend my friends in New Zealand or Colorado but it is just the tastiest and most tender I have ever experienced. Other highlights are the cheeses, Especially (my opinion) the local knock off of Port Salut. Although all the local cheeses I have tried have been very good this is my fave, so far. There are lots of ripe avocados in all the stores and fruit stands and I have probably had 5 or 6 avocado sandwiches for lunch in the last 3 weeks. They are also most excellent. In the fish world the two most interesting are the local Truche (trout) and the Albino Salmon.
Two days ago the weather was just breathtakingly beautiful and so I went south to Tierra Del Fuego national park. The largest National park in Argentina. I took a nice 6.5 kilometer hike along a well marked coastal trail. It was right on the water most of the way and when it went a little inland it was still fantastic. One of the nicest forest trails I have ever walked. The air this far south is remarkably clean and clear everything is very bright and seems, polished for lack of a better word.
Spotted some pretty critters including a few large golden brown colored rabbits, Some falcons, some geese not like any geese I had ever before seen, and many other Aves (birds) the names of which are unknown to me. Including some HUGE woodpeckers.
At one point as I turned a bend and there right in front of us blocking the path were a small herd of 8 ponies. They were just grazing naked no bridles or saddles or anything and they were not timid at all. I went up to one and petted her and she was cool about it. They were branded so they obviously were not wild but it was one of those beautiful moments anyway.
Funny thing I noticed that I will share with you all. The moon. The moon is differnet looking in different parts of the world. Down here, the man on the moon looks you square in the eye. not a profile but a full on frontal view. hard to explain but suffice it to say I never noticed the moons face look like it does here.
The stars are differnt than in the south east hemisphere too. And of course much differnt than in the northern hemisphere.
"I think to myself, What a wonderful world this is"- Louis Armstrong.
I met up with Kimberle and we have been together for 3 days now. We are going North tomorrow and so far we are getting along pretty well. I am a difficult man, but she is very patient with me and I am trying...
Well that is the end for now. I will update you all again soon.
Rambling Robert the Traveling Man


Blogger Andy HoboTraveler.com said...

Hola Quetal Robert,
Yo soy Andrew de HoboTraveler.com

I am trying to subscribe to your blog so I do not have to rememeber... hehehe

If you put oops, well who knows, it may work, if you sign up with Yahoogroups.com there is an email you can send to and an aggregator, you can make the reply yours in blogspot and send to the yahoogroups and then people like me can subscribe.

Andy of HoboTraveler.com in Arequipa

6:47 AM  

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