Day 17 snapshots
Today is Monday February 13, 2006
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Another day, another dock load of ships. Left to right, a container ship's bow can be seen in front of a large cruise ship on the other side of the dock while a small red ice breaker is on the near side. On the far side is another medium-sized cruise ship and a square-rigged sailing vessel is on the near right.
The large cruise ship may seem similar to the one at dock two days before, it is a different one with another 2-3,000 passengers, most of whom will want some souvenir from the End of the World.
I am always pleasantly surprised to see an example of this French made Citroën Deux Chevaux (please excuse my spelling). It brings back wonderful memories of 1968 and traveling in Europe with my friends Arend and Paul. In a similar red car, we traveled from Germany to Sweden and back. Near one of our stops, on a road through strawberry fields, we had a small accident and crumpled the right front fender. I shall remember those strawberry fields forever.
We found the food in Ushuaia and at the hotel both extraordinary and extraordinarily inexpensive. For instance, an entrée of two 8 oz. medallions of Argentine sirloin was about USD $12. The only unfortunate part of that is that we were unable to consume more than half of what was served us. We needed to go out and burn off some of our caloric intake.
On another afternoon walk near our hotel, I took this shot which again seemed representative of the Ushuaia that we saw. The road is Los Ñires and runs past our hotel of the same name. Overall, the economy of Argentina has not been doing well. Apparently about a decade ago, the economy crashed and it is a long time in recovering. This was particularly evident in Buenos Aires where the infrastructure shows signs of wear and tear. It is particularly obvious in the streets and sidewalks which are in desperate need of repair.
Ushuaia seems to have a summer inflow of tourist currency and the area has the appearance of a boomtown that ebbs and flows with the seasons. The season of income and the building season are the same, and short, so it seems that building seems to become secondary. Most of the roads outside the city center are gravel, and have been constructed not many seasons ago. The house directly ahead, with its corrugated metal roof and mostly wood siding, is yet to be completed. The owner was by one day working on a wooden porch at the front of the house.
There seems to be very few sources of income in Ushuaia, except those related to and supporting tourism. Since not much is manufactured here, or grown here, it all must be brought in. Since Tierra del Fuego is a series of islands, the only way to move things here is by ship. Near the docks are stacks and stacks of shipping containers that continually move in and out of Ushuaia.