Hola usted gente hermosa. I come to you now via a quaint and overpriced cafe in Ushuaia, Argentina. You know you have come across a road less traveled when
walking down the street your eyes our greeted by signs advertising trips to Antarctica for a couple grand. Being at the end of the world and only a hop skip and expensive jump from a continent of ice, one would think it would be unbearably cold. This I am here to disprove, as in Ushuaia (pronounced oos-whya) it is a crisp 20C. Now to describe a 24 hour glimpse into my life:
Awakening on April the 14th, I am in a city given the label the southermost in the world. My head is surprisingly clear, my thoughts unclouded by the tangled pain of a hangover. Hangover....a word that echoes in all languages. My current dorm mates, Craig from the UK, Diogo from Brazil, and Oscar (the
night-stalking queen, looking something like the freak on the right) from Spain, all stirring now in the grey late morning light, groan in hangover hell. We all more or less got up around 11 after collapsing into dark and heavy sleep at 6:00AM, the end of a fairly wild night that followed an eventful yet tiring and exhausting day.
Allow me now to recount the events of that day, and the night which came before the above described morning: Walking without a care, completely oblivious to the outside world, strolling down an avenue in the small and homey feeling town of Ushuaia. This place could be a nuclear fallout shell of a city, and still be made beautiful by the surrounding panorama of snow capped and jagged
mountains, crystal clear skies of fierce saphire, whose beauty is only interrupted to the south, where arctic ocean starts. My Brit amigo and I started the day late around 2pm, got our shit figured out and our coffee ingested, and taxied for 10 pesos to Glacier Martial summit. A statement of fact: I, Joseph Greenberg, am the most poorly equipped human in Ushuaia for enduring hazardous weather. Craig was more or less prepared with proper attire, where my glacier trekking ensemble consisted of a knockoff Quicksilver hoody made AND purchased in Beijing, some ass (among other things) constricting blue jeans, and DVS skate shoes. ¡Que bueno!
Other trekkers crossed our paths toating heavy water
repellant boots, ski poles, looking like walking polar fleece factories. I felt more and more out of place, giggling a little more everytime at what could be a potentially horrible\dire situation in me getting caught in a freak storm or shift of weather. Yeah Im nuts. And your mothers an astronaut. The hike started immediately at a steep incline, and after 5 minutes Criag and I both felt like walruses out of water. This fatigue quickly passed and the hike became an overpowering and intoxicating experience of natural beauty. We were hiking steadily up into a valley between two massive peaks. Both sides of the mountains lazily extending toward the ceiling of the sky, its exposed trees on the threshold of Fall´s color changing fury. The greens of the trees were just starting to turn, and here and there were golden sunbursts of yellow on the slopes.
Craig had entered a state of camera frenzy, shooting anything and everything, fitting the tourist stereotype to a T.
Being the seasoned camera vet that I am, I kept the cam holstered, waiting for a truely lens worthy opportunity. This opportunity presented itself 5 minutes later when I
decided it would be entertaining to utilize the snowy and glacierized (im makin words up) background by disrobing down to my calvin klein boxers, socks, and shoes. It was delightful...it was brisk...the pictures will speak for themselves by saying ¨Joseph Greenberg, you should put some damn clothes on.¨ Not much later, an Israeli friend
named Amir, walked by on his way down, and decided in his own craziness to walk back up with Craig and I. His Israeli soldier training appeared to be more effective than my hours of vanity spent in the weight room, as he navigated the intense slope of deep snow and loose shale with the nimbleness of a juvenile yetti. Climbing was slow and tedious as the rocks were loose, and the grade was treacherously steep. As we got higher, heavy flakes of snow started to fall, and a thick cloud blanket came down to meet us. At this point, common sense and a sense of self preservation kicked in, and we turned around, yet not before playing with echoes, and attempting to start sever giant cartoon inspired rolling snow balls. They were all unsuccessful, and Craig´s heart and dreams were crushed; someones life was probably saved.
Back to town, away from an artic storm we hurried. Through an old and gnarled Lenga forest our path was laid, and the place felt spiritual. The trees were numerous and close, making the air feel close. The ground was colored yellow with the decomposition of thousands of small circular petals. Sounds of running water were not far off. I would have liked to have taken time to sit and commune with the forest, however my friends were on the move and my current conversation on the greatness of L.O.T.R. and Pirates was too riveting to stop for forest meditation.
We made it back to the Cruz del Sur hostel alive and in horribly famished spirits just as the last shades of light sank beneath the western horizon. It was 7PM and in our haste of heating food, we successfully started a small fire in the oven from the spilled sauce of our store bought cannaloni, and immediately set to work drinking with an international team representing 6 different countries. Some hours later, my international team still intact, we found ourselves in line to enter the one and southern most club in the world, Club San Cristobal. Conveniently and scenecally located right on the Ushuaian shore line, the club was a pathetic excuse of architecture but was filled near its capacity. The Hispanic \South American representatives on the team immediately set to work destroying the dance credibility I thought I had, lighting the floor on fire with their rapid Salsa and Melonga moves. The only thing I could think to do to save America´s reputation of spitting out amazing caucasian dancers was to jump in the middle of our little dance circle, and engage in the seductive and suggestive Lasso dance. I dropped this very move in a Club
in Beijing to extreme success, and by success I mean being followed by a 35 year old Chinese bloque for the rest of the night. Unfortunately my amount of success this night went unequalled, but I did manage to find a nice Ushuaian girl named Sabrina who danced with the energy and style of high voltage electricution, and I just tried to keep up. We danced until 5am, when she had to go home and my right knee decided to give out, leaving me in a crumpled and wretched ball of parapellegic pain. Climbing glaciers at 2pm, hiking lenga forests at 4pm, and dropping it like it was hot until 5am proved to be too much for my body. Diogo (Brazilia), Oscar (Espana), Craig (UK), Dope Boy Magic (USA) were all collapsing into slumber in our hostel dorm room at 6am, just escaping the morning light of Friday the 14th of April. We would awake some 4 hours later, where I started this story. One day in my life at el fin del mundo. Pura Vida. Dope Boy Magic out.