A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I hav heard that it was Lao Tse who said that, and he was quite right. In this case, however, the first step is actually not small at all. It is a number of flight miles that I don’t really want to think about. Many hours of sitting and tiredness, a short drive through Buenos Aires, almost 30 degrees warmth at the Rio de La Plata, then another flight of several hours over the Argentine Pampa until suddenly mountains are rising steeply, hiding the Beagle Channel between them. On its shore, there is Ushuaia. Her inhabitants call their town the southernmost one in the world, which is quite true. Another nickname they give to their homeplace is El fin del mundo, the end of the world. For us, it is not the end. This is where we are actually starting.
In high latitudes – in the southern hemisphere, everything south of 50 degrees qualifies – people always seem to be afraid of cold. I can’t think of any other reason why one would heat his house up to temperatures that remind me of a Finnish sauna. Inside, it is hardly less warm than at the Rio de la Plata. There is no way to turn the heating down, there is only a window that I can open. You can’t blame them for being overefficient in terms of energy saving.
The later, the more lively it is on San Martin, the main road. A street musician and a juggler are making for a relaxed southern atmosphere, while tourists are walking up and down the steep roards. Some final shopping, and then it is time for the last night on a matress that isn’t moving for a couple of weeks.