Yikes - our alarm clock went off at 5:00 am. At 5:45 am Andrea arrived with a driver, to take us to the Buenos Aires domestic airport for the 7:15 -11:30 am flight to Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Since we left the hotel without eating, we enjoyed the ever popular medialunas (croissants) and coffee, served on the plane. When the plane parked at the gate area, we noticed a group of soldiers by the plane next to ours. We just missed President Cristina Kirchner arriving in Ushuaia for a computer assembly plant opening. (They need jobs down here, as the economy has tanked in recent years.) After picking up our luggage we were greeted by the very friendly and personable Augustine, one of the great bi-lingual guides from the Canal tour company in Ushuaia. Augustine drove us the short distance to the Hosteria Linares. The Linares is a quaint guest house, with very basic small rooms. It's up on a hill, above one end of the downtown area. The Linares has a very nice common sitting area / library. From the picture window is a great view of the town, the Beagle Channel and ice covered mountains. We were on our own the rest of the day to explore downtown Ushuaia. It was cool and windy, around 45°F. We walked down Maipu, the street by the channel. We had a nice lunch at Ramos Generales - El Almacen. It's a 100 year old general store, operated as a cafe, coffee house and bakery by a French couple. After lunch we walked to the pier, where a ship was being prepared for an Antarctic cruise. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering into various shops on San Martin. Ushuaia has grown to a population of over 60,000, with a decent downtown. Since we already had enough beef for a week, dinner was salads, chicken entrees and wine at the very popular Tanta Nina, at the other end of town. Each night in Ushuaia, Canal sent an email to the Linares with our pick up time for the next day.
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