Posted by: travelrat | August 17, 2017

We Missed the Train!

Ushuaia 1

Ushuaia: 9th February 2017

Ushuaia lays claim to being the southernmost city in the world. Some say that Puerto Williams, across the Beagle Channel, in neighbouring Chile, could give them an argument about that, but the Argentinians point out that Puerto Williams isn’t a city!

What Ushuaia can indisputably claim is having the southernmost railway in the world. This was built by convict labour, initially to carry materials to build the city, once a penal colony … the Argentinian equivalent of Siberia. Although it’s no longer where Argentina sends its bad lads, the prison still stands, and is now a military barracks. Outside it is a replica of the Cape Horn lighthouse

We were due to ride on the Southernmost Train in the World, but the tour had to be cancelled due to a monumental cross-up with the port authorities. We had been supposed to actually dock, but our berth had been assigned to another ship. Then, there were delays getting clearance to go ashore, then the place for the tenders to dock was ruled unsatisfactory, and an alternative had to be found.

Not, I hasten to add, the fault of the cruise line; the Captain didn’t quite manage to disguise the anger and frustration in his voice as he made the announcement. So, we spent a couple of hours sitting in a dining room, instead of the experience I’d been looking forward to.

We did eventually get ashore, and those who had booked a train ride in the afternoon got one. Afterwards, one of the riders said:

‘It was just a ride on a miniature train. Nothing to write home about!’

 But hey, the Southernmost Train in the World? Surely, that alone would make it stand out from others?

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