Ushuaia’s marketing proclaims it the “end of the world“.
Some of its more irreverent sales people describe it thus:
Its claim comes from the fact that it is the southernmost city in the world – much further south than anything New Zealand or South Africa have as contenders. This overlooks what used to be a Chilean Naval base and has now grown into something between a village and a small town called Puerto Williams. This village is known locally as the “utmost end of the earth”.
So, ever the intrepid travellers we decided to take a boat further south to see if we fell off the end.
Unfortunately our efforts to reduce the cost of a passage to Antarctica to be within our means proved fruitless. It is still about 1,000 Km away from Ushuaia; there are no planes at this time of year and the few passenger ships that go take a minimum of about 10 day and so cost a fortune – even with last minute deals.
However just when we had almost given up hope of going further south we managed to get a good deal on a 4 day/3 night cruise from Ushuaia to the Chilean town of Punta Arenas via Cape Horn.
There are many fascinating facts about Cape Horn that you will find in Wikipeadia. This is the one that did it for me… You can sail due east (or due west) from Cape Horn, and the next piece of land you will see is… Cape Horn – having circumnavigated the whole globe.
To look at it is a pretty unspectacular piece of land with a high promontory.
The only things on the island are a monument to the sailors who lost their lives with an accompanying poem about the Albatross at the end of the world, a lighthouse manned 24/7/365 by the Chilean Navy and a small chapel – nice but not spectacular.
The weather was kind to us and we were able to disembark and stand on Cape Horn. This was something that has happened only twice out of the last six times our boat had been there. To know that we were standing on the southernmost bit of land that we will be on on this journey (maybe ever), and that it is time to head North again kind of made it poignant. 8 months done – only 4 more to go. Crikey!