Ushuaia, Argentina is the southernmost city on Earth. There is one town which is further south by a few miles: Puerto Williams, Chile, which is mostly a Chilean naval base. I have never been to Puerto Williams, but I did pass by it on a boat ride on the Beagle Channel to Estancia Harberton. Below is as close as I could get to Puerto Williams without going through Chilean customs:
The whole Tierra Del Fuego area, both in Argentina and Chile, is endlessly fascinating. That’s where the Andes comes to an end, sputtering out by Ushuaia and the Dientes de Navarino in Chile. In the above picture, thee are high mountains behind Puerto Williams that are mostly hidden in cloud, though you could make out the rough outline of their summits.
Mark Twain once wrote, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a few minutes.” That is even more true of Tierra Del Fuego. After all, my last day in Ushuaia in 2006 (it was November 15 to be exact), dawned fair and turned into a blizzard. You may say, “Well, it was November, after all!” We were, however, in the Southern Hemisphere, so it was supposed to be like May in the Northern Hemisphere. The truth is, it can snow on any day of the year in Ushuaia.
There are compensations. The cuisine includes king crab (centolla), which is widely available at reasonable prices. The city is chock full of museums, most prominently the so-called Maritime Museum, which was built as a prison to house Argentina’s most dangerous criminals, including Simon Radowitzky, the anarchist responsible for killing a ranking police officer. Ushuaia was for many years Argentina’s Alcatraz.
Ushuaia was where I broke my shoulder in a blizzard. (That’s why I remember November 15, 2006.) The location was the corner of Magallanes and Rivadavia, where I slipped on ice and fell hard with my shoulder on a high curb. They have since put up a traffic signal there, so it is easier to cross the road.
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