Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In Ushuaia (March 17-22, April 9-12, 2012)

In Ushuaia, Doug and Chris came down to celebrate our arrival and trip completion.  Renting a house for nearly a week, we were able to assemble many characters from recent months: in addition to Jason and Jeff, we had Tom, Greg, Cat, Sonja, Craig and Guillermina in the house.  A perfect recipe for some gourmet meals, music, and lots of storytelling...

Jason and Doug caught these brown sea trout in Tierra del Fuego National Park near Ushuaia and cooked 'em up...
(photo: Cat Magill)

Cat and Jeff made homemade soft pretzels and served 'em up with spicy mustard sauce
(photo: Cat Magill)
we took a dayhike to the Martial Glacier which rises dramatically behind Ushuaia 
(photo: Cat Magill)

gorgeous southern beech forest

autumn beech leaves (photo: Cat Magill)

the view over Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel.  Ushuaia sits on the Beagle Channel, named after the Beagle, which carried Charles Darwin to this area in 1833. 

another look down from Martial Glacier

 Doug tells wacky stories to Sonja, Tom and Cat, backed by the glacier 

Chris, Jeff and Doug (photo: Cat Magill)

The End of the World, nearly.  The most southernly human settlement on the planet is not Ushuaia (midground), but Puerto Williams (background far left, barely visible), which is across the Beagle Channel in Chilean territory. (photo: Cat Magill)

Chris and Doug (photo: Cat Magill).  Before Ushuaia, they had visited Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Iguazo Falls on this trip.  They hosted a fantastic week in Ushuaia, thank you!

Ushuaia.  A relief for us, a real Argentine city with real people, not just a tourist creation like El Chalten and El Calafate.

sunrise in Ushuaia

... hallucinatory views of Ushuaia and the Martial Mountain range behind it...

Ushuaia marked the last time these individuals would be playing together for a long time, so we made the most of it and had some memorable jams in the house...
... gettin' deep in the groove... (photos: Cat Magill)

We played through a long session of songs that have accompanied and inspired - and been inspired by - our trip during the previous 18 months (photo: Cat Magill)

Jason and Jeff, while Chris listens on (photo: Cat Magill)

a specialty of these parts: Centolla, or Chilean King Crab, seen in a restaurant window in Ushuaia

This sign from near San Sebastian says: "Las malvinas son argentinas", or, as it were, "The Falklands Islands belong to Argentina".  This is a hot topic in Argentina... which is demanding the return of the islands from the UK to Argentina. 

This sticker promotes Ushuaia as the capital of the Falklands.   At least it was (briefly) in Argentine geopolitical structuring until 1833, when the British occupied the Falklands. 

Argentina refuses UK control of the islands, and proceeds as if they were Argentine.  Any map produced by Argentina claims the islands as their own.

"Guillermo Go Home!"  Or, get the hell out of here, Prince William! (William was doing military training in the Falklands in recent months) [seen on shop window in Ushuaia]

in Ushuaia there is a plaza dedicated to the Falklands in honor of the 30th Anniversary of Argentina's failed attempt to wrest the islands from British hands in 1982.  The Argentine invasion, which was ill-advised and ill-planned (soldiers had ancient malfunctioning guns, for example), has been shown to have been a national unifying strategy by the military dictatorship of that era in Argentina, to deflect attention from a poor economy (they took this one from the USA playbook).  However, it has been taken up as a theme of Argentine pride, and some Argentines actually think that the UK invaded the Falklands in 1982!   

... War photos.  In this image Argentine soldiers have taken British prisoners... the caption below gives an idea of the propaganda occurring in Argentina...
"An image that was hard on British pride".  That's a funny statement coming from the losing side.

the sinking of the Argentine battleship General Belgrano (formerly USS Phoenix from World War II), a decisive moment in the war in which 323 Argentine soldiers were killed.
the propaganda spreads beyond Ushuaia to Tolhuin (and much further afield): this is the Tolhuin Public Library.(photo: Cat Magill)

Further complicating this issue is that the islands went from Dutch (1600) to French (1764) to British (1765) to Spanish (1767) to Argentine (1816, 1828) to British control by 1833.   Nowadays, the population of the islands is just over 3000 and the residents are emphatic about remaining under UK control; nonetheless Argentina is adamant about the return of the islands to their possession.

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