Ushuaia appeared on the Beagle Channel, calm and lulling. Our trip ended where as all such trips should: late at night, in a raucous Irish bar.
It was barely fortification for the day to come. We know now why penguins don’t fly. And while that’s a bad joke, so was the two-hour wait in line for the sole person working the security computer at the Ushuaia airport and the additional two-hour line for check in at American Airlines in Buenos Aires, for which there is no excuse. If executives and board members had to suffer the long queues, insufficiently staffed counters and hard seats in coach that their customers are tortured with, American — and other companies — would clean up their act. It ought to be written into the FAA code.
If there was one rosy side to the frustration, it was the attention it diverted from parting with new friends. Most of those you meet along the way are simply bypassers, but a few strike close to your soul. We hope to see you again on the next journey into the unknown.
Yes, it happens! Two blocks from our nice hotel in Recoleta, a block from the shopping center of Patio Bullwich. We of course should not have been wearing our good watches.
But there we were, wandering jet lagged on a national holiday, 10 in the morning. But before we could blink, the robber had this arm around the husband neck and was pulling at his watch. And before I could get close enough to kick him between the legs, the band broke, the husband went down on the sidewalk and the robber was gone.
Several people stopped to help, appalled. A taxi driver took us to our hotel gratis. Luckily, injury was limited to scrapes and abrasions and sore muscles. We were lucky.
BA is still a great city. But it hasn’t been the best of times here — hence the impending change in government and rising crime.
Our incident is a reminder to keep a sharp eye when we travel, pack our brains and leave valuables behind.