Posted by: travelrat | August 22, 2017


Ushuaia Bus

Ushuaia: 9th February 2017

When we finally got ashore at Ushuaia, we did what we usually do in the absence of a train. We took a bus. It was an elderly, double-decker ‘Routemaster’ which offered tours around the city. NOT, they emphasised, a ‘hop on \hop off’ tour, but interesting nevertheless.

The tour took us past the old jail, now a military barracks, with the replica of the Cape Horn lighthouse outside, I was particularly taken with the mural on the Post Office, which illustrates the city’s indigenous and convict past.

Like in many other places we’ve seen, some of the houses were brightly painted; I believe this is the practice in many coastal places, so fisherman and mariners could recognize their town from out at sea. Or, it could be that, as a La Boca, they just painted their houses with any paint they could obtain from passing ships?

Then, they took us out to the headland, where the local flying club have a small airfield. We had a photo-stop, with some excellent views of the city and the harbour … and, closer to hand, a dilapidated old DC-3 in the process of being restored.

After the tour, we inspected the abandoned Saint Christopher tugboat. This ship, formerly the Royal Navy’s HMS Justice, belonged to an Italian salvage company, who came here in 1953 to recover metal from SS Monte Cervantes, which ran aground, and subsequently sank nearby in 1930. Unfortunately, Saint Christopher also ran aground; she was towed to Ushuaia, but was found to be so badly damaged, it was decided to just abandon her where she lay. It has now become a local landmark.

We finally did what we usually do when we don’t have much to do; shambled down the main street, admiring the old-style paintwork on some of the bars and shops,  inspecting the goods and reading menus. We finally settled on a place that served excellent pizzas … and had WiFi.

St Christopher

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