The End of The World for Kids

Visiting the end of the world was great fun and luckily not the end of the world for us!

We were in Ushuaia, in the far south of Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, not so far from Antarctica and where there is a lovely national park to explore and three excellent museums to visit. Museums aren’t always fun, but I really liked the ones we went to in Ushuaia.

 Museo del Fin del Mundo

Museo del Fin del Mundo

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Naked at the end of the world!

In Ushauia – we found out all about the Yamana people and the Selknam people. They lived at the bottom of the world in Tierra del Fuego in South America. The Selknam lived inland and hunted guanaco. The Yamana lived along the coast.

The Yanama with their canoes - where they kept a fire burning all the time and didn't wear clothes!

The Yamana with their canoe – where they kept a fire burning all the time and didn’t wear clothes! At the Maritime Museum, Ushuaia. This canoe was made trying to copy the traditional methods before they are forgotten and lost!

The Yamana lived further south than any other people in the world and although it was cold they didn’t wear clothes but always had a fire burning even in their canoes and put animal grease on their skin to help stay warm. More

Exploring the end of the world

19-23 March 2013.

Ushuaia.  The most southerly  town in Argentina. The pretty port looks south over the Beagle channel and the West, North and East are surrounded by imposing snowy peaks and the Martial Glacier and ski runs can be seen looking back from the town.

Ushuaia and Tiera del Fuego, the end of the world, just a few hundred km from Antarctica and showing Malvinas as (Arg) owned

Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego, the end of the world, just a few hundred km from Antarctica and showing Malvinas as (Arg) owned with Pt Argentino as the capital instead of Stanley!

Tierra del Fuego is the most southerly inhabited land and closest place to Antarctica, with exception of  South Orkney with its Argentine naval base, another territory claimed by both Argentina and the UK! Cruises to Antarctica leave from Ushuaia. The museums, shops, trips and restaurants are called Fin del Mundo This or End of the World That. Strictly speaking, the town of Puerto Williams is the most southerly town, across the Beagle channel in Chile but it’s expensive to get there!  In Ushuaia, they don’t split hairs and are happy to claim end of the world fame so we decide that’s good enough for us too! More

Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

Nature served up another remarkable highlight in South America when she created the Perito Moreno Glacier in the south of Argentina, up there with Iguazu Falls and the Bolivian Salt Flats as one of the most spectacular places and is a must visit, worth every hour of the long journey to get there!

Colours and Patterns of Perito Merino Glacier Patagonia, Argentina

Colours and Patterns of Perito Moreno Glacier Patagonia, Argentina

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Hairy Armadillos on Peninsula Valdez

13th March 2013. Today I went in our car to see some Orcas and Elephant seals on the Peninsular Valdez in Argentina but we didn’t see any!

Just a board to tell us about them! The Orcas are also called Killer Whales but are actually members of the dolphin family. They are also called killer whales but they haven’t killed humans except when they are captive. They are the worlds largest predator of warm blooded animals – they hunt seals and penguins and we could have seen this on the peninsular.  They launch themselves right onto the beach to catch them!

We just read the sign! :(

We just read the sign! 😦

Watch this amazing YouTube video to see what we missed More

A week in Buenos Aires

26 February 2013. We arrive in Buenos Aires at 8.30am after being served breakfast on our VIP 20 hour bus trip from Iguazu Falls.

A walk and a run around the docklands area of Buenos Aires

A walk and a run around the docklands area of Buenos Aires

We’d hoped to go via Uruguay but scouring forums and blogs for information on this route suggested complicated stops and connections with people being stranded at quiet border towns for half the night and having to hitch. Didn’t really fancy this with three tired kids and all our bags! More

Iguazu Wonders and Wildlife

We were at Iguazu for a few days. We stayed in Argentina and just across the river Iguazu were Brazil and Paraguay. It was wet and jungly rainforest which we hadn’t seen for a while after being in the Andes. Each day we were in a different country. We crossed the borders about 10 times in a week!  Here are some of my highlights and favourite pictures and wildlife!

Brazil

You can visit the Falls in Brazil and Argentina. We started in Brazil.  This was pretty much my first view of the falls. It looked amazing but even more amazing when we got on the boat a few days later. We could see the boats down in the river going under the falls!

Me at Iguasu!

Me at Iguazu!

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Iguazu Falls – where Argentina meets Brazil and Paraguay

Iguazu Falls panorama. Showing just a fraction of the Falls which includes 275 indivdual cascades amidst multiple islands.

Iguazu Falls  – just a fraction of the Falls which includes 275 individual cascades amidst multiple islands.

Iguassu (or Iguazu, or Iguacu Falls) is so incredible it deserves its 3 spellings, or more, if you include versions with or without accents. Then there’s Puerto Iguazu in Argentina and Foz do Iguacu just across the border in Brazil, the towns and airports in the midst of the rainforest, stopping off points for the Falls.

About to get under the Iguazu falls!

About to get under the Iguazu falls!

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A taste of wine and crime in Mendoza.

aka – Visiting Argentina’s wine region with kids plus babysitter!

We arrive in Mendoza, Argentina at 5am. Our bus is about 6 hours late! With super sleepy kids and feeling  exhausted too we gather our bags and our wits and wonder if you can get any cash or a cab at this time. A money changer offers me 6 pesos to the dollar to change a $20 bill – I know the exchange rate is 5 so I’m baffled but accept and am cautious to check all the notes I get. We soon discover there is another exchange rate – it’s called the ‘dollar blue’ aka the black market rate! There is a daily published ‘dollar blue rate’ on the internet – it’s about 7:1 at this point and climbing – more on this and how much of a difference it makes to us later!  Argentina’s economy is in crisis (perhaps as a distraction  President Christina Kirchner is making a lot of noise about the Falklands aka The Malvinas) again and so we’re cautious about the reception we’ll get here!

We find a friendly cabbie who is happy to shoehorn the six of us plus luggage into his taxi! (interesting feat) and take us to our pleasant Aparthotel Tunkelen. Determined to get some value from our paid night of accommodation not to mention being bushed, we drive the now wide-awake kids into bed and sleep till 11am,. Of course we miss breakfast but the rooftop pool is wonderful when we finally wake up.

The rooftop pool and Royal Pavillion ?

The rooftop pool and Royal Pavillion ?

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Crossing the Andes to Mendoza, Argentina

15 February 2013. Our whistle-stop city break in Santiago is done. We ride the Metro for the first time to find yet another sushi restaurant. Its our first subway ride in S America and a bit of an adventure.

Underground and overground - last morning in Santiago.

Underground ,overground – last morning in Santiago.

We stop for sushi, grab Starbucks coffee, then back at the hotel to collect luggage but find it’s locked in a room with a sign on the door :

‘Gone to lunch-back in an hour’ !!

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