AdventureAntarcticaArgentinaSouth America

Day 3: Buenos Aires to Ushuaia

We met for breakfast early and then traveled to Buenos Aires’ domestic airport for our flight to Ushuaia.

Shannon and Mindy in the domestic airport
The seating on Aeorlines Airlines was dodgy – most of us ended up in the last row where the seats didn’t recline but the seats in the row ahead reclined so far it was uncomfortable. I opted for a spare middle seat in the exit row, which made me much happier than the middle seat in the last row.

Ushuaia is a small, port town “the southernmost point of South America” that would be our departure point to Antarctica. The weather was cold and rainy, and Mindy, Shannon and I passed the time on a quest for rental gear, since we would need boots and heavy parkas. We ended up at Ushuaia Tourism and then wandered around the tiny town of Ushuaia, shopping for curios and gifts.

Our soon-to-be-ship, the Polaris
There’s a lovely local stone in South America called rhodochrosite, which comes in all shapes and sizes – the darker the rose the better. I found a charm for my charm bracelet; a little gold penguin with a rhodochrosite in the center.

After a few hours of shopping and running errands we returned to the hotel to rest and snooze.

Dinner at Volver
Our boat – the Polaris – held 68 people and since we were only nine there were many more people who met at the hotel for dinner. We were surprised by the older age and grey hair of the crowd. Though maybe we shouldn’t have been since a trip like this is going to attract a retired age; those with the time and the money to travel for an extended trip. Since the group was so much larger and of a slightly different demographic, a smaller group of us (Mindy, Shannon, myself, Harry, and Janine) decided to break off and try a restaurant called Volver – known for its king crabs and newspaper wallpaper. Our table in the restaurant window gave us a great view of our boat that was sitting in the dock and the food was all right. Not spectacular, but all right. Mindy was excited about the king crab, so she ordered a crab soup to start and then a crab dish for dinner – and it wasn’t until dinner was served that we realized the two dishes were practically the same. Heaps of crab, though. Shannon – who doesn’t eat fish – was left with only a small handful of dinner choices so she ordered some sort of Milanese beef, which she said was okay too.

The inside of Volver
I wasn’t feeling especially fabulous so I headed back to the hotel early while the four of them went out to a nearby Irish pub. (leave it to this crowd to find a hopping bar in the middle of a not-so-hopping town!)