JAN 5: : Houston - Buenos Aires - Ushuaia
Thursday, January 05, 2017
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Jan 5th, 2017: Ushuaia: Tierra del Fuego National Park
Long……………………. 10+ hr flight from Houston to Buenos Aires.
Only 1-2 hrs sleep… cramped seats… terrible airplane food. "Chicken" came in the form of tiny cubes that looked and tasted like styrofoam. Ugh...
Met my colleague Rob Dunbar, professor from Stanford University. He is the lead for the Stanford group which will make up half of the passengers. Met by Zegrahm staffers in Buenos Aires. Rob and Zegrahm folks very helpful, and managed to move us through the airport with little to no effort. GREAT to know someone on the "inside".
BUENOS AIRES --> to Ushuaia:
Arrived in Ushuaia about 6:30p… flew in over amazing snow capped mountains and the beautiful Beagle Channel below, named after Charles Darwin's ship.
Hundreds of tiny islets scattered throughout the channel with thousands of birds flocking around. Lowering into Ushuaia we saw a distinct tree line half way up the slopes (not very high above sea level in comparison to where we see the tree line back in the states). We had 'lovely' accommodations in the Hotel Mustapic. It "only" cost $130 for two beds and a bathroom. As opposed to $570/night for the Arakur where most of the other expedition folks stayed. The guys at Mustapic were quite nice and it was pretty quiet, but the one star rating is not inaccurate.
Town is more modern than expected, not a 3 star or better, but safe, lots of stores, nice enough people and we found an OK meal for $30 (kinda marginal pizza, but the place was packed and other people seemed to be enjoying their meals). Beautiful surrounding mountains with snow on the north and the south opens up to Ushuaia Bay with several islands and the famous Beagle Channel. Surprisingly, it is quite colorful, with many murals on the town walls, very artsy, and tons of brilliant flowers everywhere.