No it’s not some cheesy pick up line that you will go to the end of the world for someone it can actually come true. When we planned our South American trip we had wanted to visit the end of the world, the last point of human inhabitation on earth also known as Ushuaia. We had built it up to be this magical place and truthfully we were bitterly disappointed. Sometimes when you travel you can have high expectations and the places you visit can sadly under deliver. This was one of these places for us.
We left our cosy log cabin in Punta Arenas and had a 12 hour bus journey including passing through Chile and Argentina’s land borders to get further south as well as a dirty old boat to cross the Magellan Straits.
The closer we got the more the scenery changed from raw rugged landscapes to snow topped mountains and lush green forests. Arriving tired, smelly but excited we piled off the bus stretching our legs and taking it all in.
Ushuaia is a busy port town with clomping great cruise ships, cargo boats and steel shipping containers hogging the waters. Horns blaring, gulls squawking and seamen shouting orders at one another is the backing track to this chilly town. Although not as windy as Punta Arenas you still had to be well wrapped up and protected from the bitter elements.
It’s the meeting point for those rich lucky travellers who pay ridiculous amounts of cash to spend a week or so cruising to the Antarctic, with tours costing from £8000 each it was waaaay out of our budget to join them.
So why were we so disappointed? Well I think we had expected it to feel more remote like we actually were at the end of the world but it is an expensive tourist town lacking in a certain charm. The main high street was being redeveloped so you had to watch your step over crumbling concrete, shout to be heard over the road works and avoid open man holes. The restaurants, hostels and shops are stupidly expensive and unless you paid to go on a pricey tour (like to see penguins/boat trips) there wasn’t that much to do.
It won’t feel like this for everyone but for us it was a good lesson in lowering expectations that way you are never disappointed. Being budget travellers this town isn’t catered towards us but at least we can say we’ve been to the end of the world …. it is just a shame I was just as happy to leave too!
Have you ever visited anywhere that made you feel a bit meh, that it wasn’t worth the hype?