Saturday, January 27, 2024

Antarctica 2023-4 - Day 2 - 12/27/2023 - Ushuaia

I fell asleep quite quickly the night before, but didn't stay asleep for very long. A combination of factors (a hard bed, street noise because we had the window open because otherwise the room was burning up, the early sunrise, and some pelvic discomfort) led to me spending probably more time awake as asleep over the course of the night; but at least I was resting. Fran thankfully slept better than I did, but was still tired from missed sleep over the last day of traveling. We therefore took our time getting going, and checked out around 11am. We wouldn't be able to check in to the hotel for the first night of the tour (the Wyndham Garden Hotel del Glaciar) until 3pm.

We left our luggage at the hotel while we went out to explore Ushuaia, particularly the main street Avenida San Martín. One of our first stops was for a late breakfast at a cafe. As we were leaving, we saw the couple who were at the taxi stand at the airport the night before. Fran, being the thoughtful and amicable person that she is, asked if they were able to figure out whatever plans they were having trouble with last night, and this turned into an incredible conversation. It turned out that they (George and Jenna) were doctors on their honeymoon trip, and the transfer they missed was to volunteer as medics on an expedition, and they were trying to figure out what to do for the time being before beginning their own Antarctica tour in a week. At some point they mentioned a friend who was a doctor who would be on our tour, and then I remarked that I should probably see the medic on our tour about my overactive bladder issues. This then turned into a free medical consultation as they tried to diagnose the underlying cause of my prostatitis, and suggested that I restart a new longer course of antibiotics. We took their informal prescription to a nearby pharmacy and were able to buy the second choice antibiotics over the counter. It's still somewhat unbelievable to me how Fran's "making friends" led to an encounter where these two doctors took time out of dealing with their own issues to display such helpfulness. I should also mention that my bladder symptoms were much better today than they had been the previous couple of days - probably thanks to a night of rest after the portion of the journey I was most anxious about.

By the shore in Ushuaia

We next continued to the end of the avenue, to the Museo Marítimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia - an old prison that had been converted into a museum about the prison, the maritime history of the area, and the history of native peoples in the area. It was worthwhile to see, but probably not worth spending a ton of time there - the collection is seemingly random at times, and there's too much to stay interested in for an extended period of time.

Looking down toward Ushuaia from Wyndham Garden Hotel del Glaciar

It began to rain lightly while we were in the museum, turning the nice crisp day into a wet and cold one. We eventually made our way back to a cafe for a hot chocolate while we waited for a couple of outdoor gear stores to open from siesta. After checking out the stores, but not buying anything, we we headed back to the Isla Bonita Suites to ask for a taxi over to the Wyndham Garden, which was about 10 minutes up the mountain out of town. We checked in with the tour group and the hotel, and later headed back down to meet some folks at the welcome mixer. We had (a disappointing) dinner at the hotel restaurant with a new friend Diane before heading up to the room.


My favorite pictures from the trip can be found here.

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