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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Rain and wind Ushuaia, Argentina, Saturday, 05 March 2005 2:07am

I'm glad I brought the rain pants as well as the jacket.

The Tren del Fin del Mundo was pretty silly. It's a narrow-gauge steam railroad (which is fun), but it only goes at a walking pace over a fairly short distance. There's a stop in the middle for a little exhibit on the pre-colonial inhabitants of the area, and a voice-over in English and Spanish that talks about the history of the railroad (which was built by prisoners when Ushuaia was a penal colony). But it was a pretty warm and dry way to pass a few hours (except for the stops). It was windy enough that the train was being buffeted noticeably while we were stopped.

I'm still having some trouble understanding the Argentine accent. There were two minibus drivers at the Train "Station" (more of a gift shop, really), and I could barely make out what one of them was saying. The other one was fairly easy to understand. It turned out that he was from Bolivia, not Argentina. The Argentinians seem to like the "zh" sound. It took me a while to figure out that "zhena" was "llena" (full).

On the way back, there was a song on the radio that sampled the Numa Numa song of recent internet celebrity. Neat that that has gotten this far.

I wondered if I'd hear any pop songs enough to be able to understand them, but I haven't been hearing a lot of Spanish-language pop. Punta Arenas was full of English-language New Wave music, including some stuff that I think disappeared without a trace in the States. Ushuaia has more Spanish-langauge music, but I've only heard one song twice so far. It's a guitar-rock song that has one of those ballad-like bits that introduce the really rocking section, but they never actually get to the rocking section.

Oh. I've just uploaded some pictures. I'll add them to the various entries in this journal in a bit. The free internet connection at my guest house is about three times as fast as the connection at the internet cafe.

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