Ushuaia is awesome. It feels like Juneau. Yesterday I hiked through the town and into the forest towards a glacier with yet another friendly German, this one named Cedric. He had some great quotes, including "everywhere you go, you find a German guy." I agree with him. About the view, which pictures can't do justice, looking out over the Beagle Channel, he said what I've appropriated as the title of this post, as well as "the view...it's...it's so...if I was a girl? I would cry."
Initially I was only going to stay two nights, but it's grown to four. My hostel is extremely nice, including heated tile floors, in the lounge a 360 degree view of the mountains and the water (not actually 360...180 plus 180--windows on both sides of the room), and another pool table. The lampshades in the dining area are decorated with what I think are maple leaves, but could be something else. I'm leaning towards something else, as the guy that checked me in has dreadlocks and says "call me Rasta, mon." Just why he speaks with a Jamaican accent is beyond me, as he is from Argentina.
When I first arrived and asked for two nights, "Rasta" said if I added another night he would give me the best room and a free beer. He wouldn't move on the price, though. For some reason that didn't tempt me at the time, so I turned it down. He walked me to the room, gave me a hug and said "welcome to our family." The next day when I went to the desk to add time I asked if I could get a free beer for TWO more nights in the not as good room. He asked what the hell I was talking about. I explained. He denied that he'd ever say something like that. I said no, it was you, less than 24 hours ago. He said "I was high, mon," glancing sideways with an approving smirk as two girls he'd been flirting with giggled under lowered eyelashes. He started clicking on the computer adding the days, and then said I hadn't paid for the first two nights and needed to pay. Au contraire. I most certainly had, but apparently he was too blitzed out of his mind and was going to make me pay twice. No way was that going to happen. He started looking through his receipt book trying to find proof that I'd paid. By now the girls were gone, and so was his rasta accent. After a few seconds he told me "If you could find the receipt, man, that would help me a lot. A lot a lot." I ended up convincing him that I'd paid and reserved two extra nights, but I wound up being irritated instead of having a free beer.
Tomorrow I'm going to try to go to the end of the Panamerican Highway. There is a sign that says the distance to Alaska, and it is in a national park. There are also a ton of beavers, non-native little guys that are wreaking havoc on the ecosystem.
This afternoon I tried to buy my next bus ticket, but everything closes for two hours in the afternoon and then reopens. To kill time I went to a cafe, got a coffee and read my book, but they were still closed. At the end of the street I found a place called the Invisible Pub. I ordered an Argentinian whiskey, "The Breeder's Choice," and waited. Afterwards I ate a piece of gum to take the bite of the whiskey off my breath and bought a ticket to El Calafate.
It leaves at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning. Back out of Argentina, into Chile, then out of Chile, into Argentina, and on to El Calafate.