Monday, July 21, 2008

Second day in Ushuaia

Fort his, last day of our Patagonian trip, we had arranged a horseback ride though the forest of Ushuaia with our Spanish new friends. As soon as we arrived to the horse center we knew it was not going to be an easy ride. The rain that had fallen the nigh before was now slippery ice on the ground.. making it quite difficult to walk for us, and of course, for the horses. The guy from the center told us to be calm, we would go by safe paths so there was nothing to be worried about... JA JA!

As soon as we started following our guide we realize he was a lier. We ride trough the forest, downhill to the bottom of the valley, with the horses slippering on the ice. Then we climbed up the next hill... it was amazing how the horses were able to walk by extremely narrow frozen path without falling down! From time to time a horse was too scared to continue, so the guide had to climb back to push the horse to continue walking.
It was a real adventure and after we got used to the wild path we enjoyed it very much. I guess not many people can say the ride a horse at the end of the world!

After the ride, a minivan drove us to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. There we went for a walk, but as it was late and we wouldn´t have light for long, we came back after 2 hours. The minivan was waiting for us. The sun has gone and the water of the ground started to freeze again... so at some point, in the middle of a hill we notice that something was going wrong: we were not going fact, we were going BACKWARDS!!! The van was slippering on the ice, despite the special ice- tires it had.
The driver told us to go down and push while he tried to drive... great idea when even us were not able to stand up on the ice. And the worse part was that we had to take the plane in three hours!!!
Luckily we saw some car lights coming from down hill... they were our salvation, or not1 The cars passed bay without stopping (otherwise they would have got stuck just like us!).
We had started to panic when the 4x4 track of the park guards came to rescue us pulling our car with a rope to the top of the hill.

Finally we arrived on time to the airport to descover that our plane had the normal one hour delay. We called the hostel we had booked in Buenos Aires to inform about it when we discovered that our reservation had been cancelled. Apparently we should have re-confirmed the reservation within 24 hours after the booking (despite we had already payed the 10%). However we hadn't read the email in which they notified us this "procedure". Se, as a result we had nowhere to sleep. To make it worse every hostel we called was full.

In this occasion our saviors were my Argentinian uncles Blanca and Eduardo who live in Buenos Aires. Just a call was enough for us to have a safe place to sleep that night.

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