Argentina for me has always meant football.
Not only Maradona and Messi, but the hundreds of players who incredibly failed to bring Argentina to the throne that was theirs.
And Argentina are the Barra Bravas: Boca, River, San Lorenzo, Newells Old Boys, Independiente, Estudiantes, Banfield… there are hundreds of hinchas who have made their teams known in the world.
THE BOND BETWEEN BUENOS AIRES AND CAGLIARI
The spanish Pedro de Mendoza on February 2 1536, founded the Ciudad del Espíritu Santo y Puerto Santa María del Buen Ayre.
After 4 years, however, the natives attacked the settlers and forced them to leave the town.
In 1580 the Spanish explorer Juan de Garay founded the city for the second and final time and gave it the name of Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Nuestra Señora de los Buenos Aires.
The city was baptized with this name in honor of the Madonna di Bonaria of Cagliari, in Sardinia.
I haven’t been able to go to Buenos Aires yet, but I think I can do it soon. Very early.
PATAGONIA, TIERRA DEL FUEGO AND END OF THE WORLD
I’ve always liked geography. In my experience as a traveler I learned to reach places studied in school books. For me, going there means being at a point of arrival.
This is why I decided to go to Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and the city of Ushuaia.
There are various ways to reach this southern extreme point.
Llegué volando primero desde Santiago de Chile a Punta Arenas y luego en autobús a lo largo de la legendaria Ruta Nacional 3, el camino que comienza desde Buenos Aires y cruza Argentina hasta Ushuaia, la ciudad más austral del mundo.
Ushuaia is a point of arrival, a historical geographical place like North Cape (or better Knivskjellodden), Svalbard Islands, the equator, the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, the data change line, Antarctica. The last written can be reached by ship from Ushuaia, the ideal port for this trip.
Travel on my list, and sure future destination.
WHAT TO DO
Argentina and Chile are opposed for many reasons. They have to fight also for the “title” of the southernmost city in the world.
Less than 100 people live in the village of Puerto Toro, in the Chilean island of Navarino. Too few perhaps to remove this title to the argentine Ushuaia, a city of 56,000 inhabitants, just north of Puerto Toro.
From the port ships for Antarctica leave and this makes me understand that I’ll return to these places.
I came here during the southern winter. It snows and the wind, which comes directly from the South Pole, drops the temperature abundantly below zero.
I love the heat but here, at the end of the world, I expect and I want to see this climate.
Going up to the Martial Mountains, behind the city, the landscape is even more beautiful: Ushuaia is squeezed between the Beagle Channel, the glaciers, the snow, the woods.
It is impossible not to participate in some of the many excursions that start from here.
TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK
In this spectacular 4 miles² Argentine National Park, you will never stop feeling excited.
Panoramic walkways allow you to take incredible photos, immersed in waterfalls, rivers, beech forests, mountains, valleys, glaciers and glacial lakes.
With a little luck you could see the animals that live there: guanaco, lama, andean fox, andean condor, peaks of Patagonia.
But also marine species such as mussels, scallops, crabs, sardines, jellyfish.
From here you can get on the “prison train”.
THE TRAIN OF THE END OF THE WORLD
If Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world, everythings nearby is “the southernmost in the world”.
This is true for bar, hotel, school..
And there could only be the train to the end of the world.
My life as a traveler is related to the Trans-Siberian train and I had to travel on the old steam train at the end of the world.
This, by the way, was the means used by prisoners to transport wood to the Ushuaia prison.
The train of the end of the world was born in 1902 to be the train of prisoners.
From the prison it skirted the old city and ended its run in the forests. And when the wood diminished, the length of the rails in the middle of the trees increased.
This lasted until 1947, when the prison was closed.
The railway line was definitively abandoned in 1952 and then reborn in 1994 as a tourist train.
EXCURSIONS IN THE BEAGLE CANAL
From the tourist port of Ushuaia various companies organize boat or catamaran excursions along the Beagle Channel.
Seeing the city of Ushuaia go away while sailing south is very exciting and the landscape is wonderful.
In the islands of Los Lobos and Los Pájaros, hundreds of sea lions and cormorants are seen in their permanent habitat.
You can also get close to the Martillo Island beach, where the colony of Magellanic penguins nest during the summer season.
They are very curious animals and it’s common for them swimming next to us.
Arriving at Cape Horn you have only to think about the next trip further south, to Antarctica.