If you are a purist you would say that somebody only truly reaches the bottom of the world when they go to the precise center of the South Pole. Only a few privileged scientist, military personnel (mostly helicopter and aircraft pilots) and members of well-funded public and private expeditions make it to this precise bottom of the world. Even if you sail to Antarctica on one of the cruise ships going from Ushuaia, you will only go to a peninsula and nowhere near the precise geographic center of the South Pole.
The Argentina Federal government and the province of Tierra del Fuego have made it a little easier. All you need to do is go into Tierra Del Fuego National Park and drive to the end of Argentina Route 3. This is where the Pan American Highway that starts in Alaska officially ends after some 17,000 kilometers.
This morning I started the day on a tour. I thought that I was just going to ride what is known as “The train to the end of the world.” This is a train that is now inside Tierra del Fuego National Park. Long ago when Ushuaia was a penal colony, prisoners who volunteered to work in the woods and in a saw mill were transported on this train to work and to come back to their prison cells. I rode the train as did a huge number of other people. It was an incredible experience and went through some beautiful scenery. When I got off the train and climbed back on board my bus, I assumed that the tour was over and we were going back to Ushuaia.
Much to my pleasant surprise we took a long and sometime arduous tour of the park itself. Our last stop was the end of Argentina Route 3. It is also the end of the Pan American Highway that starts in Alaska. I had reached a milestone that I had dreamed of. It was one of my big goals on this trip.
Right now I am exhausted even after resting. I called Elena and she was delighted to hear that I had made it. Elena I feel so sad that we have to suffer through this very hard time apart while I accomplish things that are so important to me in my life. Elena your patience, understanding and hard work, made this incredible moment possible. Thank you so much for your personal and financial sacrifices.