The end of the world comes alarmingly early, Graham and I in a cab at 6:15 in the AM to beeline it away on Argentina’s lane-less roads, a gauntlet of cabs, buses, cars, bikes, and more all threading in and out of center field, Fed kind enough to see us off despite a late night jam session, us at the airport barely an hour later, only to find our flight delayed almost two hours.
Ugh, we are in poopy moods, definitely not made sweeter after paying an overpriced airport breakfast, but by the time our flight departs and heads south, the winds change and our frowns turn upside down.
We are going to Ushuaia, bitches!
Touchdown five hours later after a stop-over tease in Trelew, an eastern seaboard town a hair of a distance from Peninsula Valdez, home to whales and sea lions galore at the right time of year, some place we tuck away for “next time,” and whoa, it feels like we just landed in Alaska.
Only, it’s not–we are in Tierre del Fuego, Patagonia, the total opposite end of the globe with its midnight sun, and I am a very, very happy gal.
This place is wild–mountains rise from the sea, sky grey and foreboding with the harshness of extreme living, somber color mirrored in the buildings and fishing boats, a wash of light graphite across the entire scene.
Decked out in Patahoochie puff jackets, fleeces, thermals, zip cargo pants, Merrill’s and more, we head to the end of the world as a homogenous mob, our nationalities barely discernible through our uniforms of outdoor play. It’s fascinating how each destination carries with it a specific group of people, its own target audience, and for the end of the world, it’s all about the adventurer.
We are a traveling REI store, some of us fresh off the rack, others from seasons ago, out of style but still very much in use, and I take a hint from my fellow passengers and slip out of my Havaianas and into some sneaks ‘cuz, baby, it’s cold outside, and we are about to walk all over this land of fire and ice.