DAY 9 Friday June 20 La Boca
Got up 10 and out by 11. I decided to go to La Boca by city bus. Bought a small book for 4pesos that is the key to the bus system; it is also the best pocket guide to the city. I recommend it to everyone even if you don’t take the bus. Saw 152 Bus and put my 80cents, you get a receipt that shows you paid, which you hold onto, you tell driver where you are getting off that has some impact on the fare but virtually all fares are .80 p.I got to La Boca in middle of parade which seemed to be honoring the local firemen. I drifted around the side streets which were quite slummy. The guide books warn against wandering and they may be right but I figured it was the middle of that day… I finally got my bearings andheaded for the main tourist drag which was indeed very tarted up, but interesting and picturesque. Lots of street side tourist art for sale and bars and restaurants which are well known tourist traps.After quickly cruising the tourist strip, I fairly rapidly headed to a restaurant, El Obero where U2, Bono and Robert DeNiro are known to go. I walked though some pretty grim “war zone” type areas, It was around noon and I was dressed fairly inconspicuously (black cloth jacket and jeans). Don’t think Shasta would have gone for it. The restaurant was a neat spot. For me it was the first food of day. I got there just before 1. By 1:15 the place was packed, no seats. The place seemed to be packed with mainly locals. I had two slices of marinated eggplant, steak, wine and bread pudding with whipped cream and dulce de leche for 53p plus 6p tip.Started to walk to a bus, asked directions of a couple of guys from the restaurant, but ended up accepting a ride in their van. They said the area was not so hot, indeed I saw much more war zone activity including some fairly substantial squatter camps I would not have liked to encounter on foot and it was very isolated. While my wife might have considered me lost, I viewed it as an interesting excursion. The guys from the restaurant dropped me at Puerto Madero which is where it seemed they worked. I waited for 152 bus to get back to apt. I need to take it easy since I leave tomorrow for the airport again at 4am. I had an early snack. I stopped at pizza joint near the regional soup and casserole restaurant that Shasta and I went to two nights ago, on Juncal. I had 2 tostados and a big squash and cheese tart. Thought I was ordering pizza. Oh well. Guess Spanish could be useful!
DAY 10 Saturday June 21
What a drag, off I go at 4:30am out to airport. Flight already listed as delayed to 9:30. Bitchy lady checks me in. She tells me that I am 4k over weight; therefore I must check my bag. Back to coffee shop. Amazing how polite everyone is. Only one guy lost his cool. Flight took off at 10:30. Got to Ushuaia about 1:30pm. On arrival the the tourist assistance booth was empty. I found a hotel in “Time Out Guide” for 160p per night. Hotel Cap Polonio, San Martin 746, Ushuaia. Its advantages are that it is on the main street at the mid point so it is very well located; my room had a small view of the harbor. The hotel rooms are basic but reasonably clean although mine had some stale smoke smell.The place is beautiful, surrounded by snow covered mountains, around a picturesque harbor. I immediately set out to check out the Beagle channel boat group and decided on the small one for 105p. The boat was the Tango. Iwent out with two other couples and a nice crew. Tour was great but we left late at 3:30, (waiting for yet another couple that the crew thought was coming) and got back around 6. I was fighting the light in terms of taking pictures, that is it was getting dim.. Boy, a vibration reduction lens would have helped. Saw seals, cormorants, and a few penguins from a distance. Saw a huge petrel, similar to albatross. That night strolled down the street and chose, The Estancia restaurant, all you can eat spit roasted lamb. Saw some people eating early. I was leaving at 9:30, everyone coming. Lots of local families.
DAY 11 Sunday June 22
Woke up at 8:30. Torn between sleep and breakfast which was included and set up until 10. I went down around 9:30. Decent food but nothing to rave about, l medialuna ,coffee,and oj.I wanted to rent a car to go to the nearby national park, but the weather was bad, so I wasn’t feeling real confident about heading into the mountains in the snow and ice, at the “end of the world”. So…I wandered around town, got t-shirts. I found a sandwich bar and for 20p saw several people eating prodigious amounts of meat but no other veggies. As the day wore on there was fairly major snow. So I went on the museum circuit. Went to the old prison. Well done and large. Then on out to museum at the end of the world, it was Interesting. I had some more café con leche and white chocolate, at a local chocolate shop, nothing special.I headed to the seaside to take pictures. Went back to the room since I was tired, but couldn’t sleep. Then dinner, wanted to go to crab restaurant since southern crab is supposed to be the local thing much like Alaskan king crab, the boat guy recommended, Elvira. I found it to be overpriced and only full bottles of wine available. 119p. I was not impressed by the crab. Back at the hotel, I see on news that the only flight out of B.A. for the last several days seems to have been mine. It seems that things at the airport are deteriorating. Union striking because passengers unruly.Chances of getting back are looking slim. Checked on bus trip to get back to Buenos Aires. Only one per day and it leaves at 5:30am and it takes 4 or 5 days and who know if I can even get on it…..
DAY12 and 13 June 23 & 24
Lost day. The weather was no better so the car seems to remain a bad idea. I got up early. Seem to have run out of things to do in this town, only one local bar, where I whiled away some time. Skipped lunch. Welcome to Argentina. Stopped at internet café. Tried to track down some type of bus trip. I went back to the all you can eat place for dinner again at 39p place lamb.
Day 14 June 25
My worries turned out to be unfounded, Plane arrives an hour late and off I went to B.A. and then off to the good old USA