Every end reveals a new beginning, it is an inevitable part of its essence. Just as night gives way to the day and one year gives place to another, the end of a stage opens the door to another that begins. There I was, living my long awaited New Year in the “End of the world”. It was something I longed for and the only part of my trip that I had not reflected on before. I had let it flow and that had been the best decision I could have made.
I started 2018 at the Cruz del Sur hostel with a diverse group: people of different nationalities who spoke different languages and had different interests. However, we all had something in common: we had arrived alone at the “End of the world” and chosen that place and that group to say goodbye one year and receive another.
Twelve o’clock took place and we toasted together for the days to come and the new adventures. Later, I met with the four Israelis I had met the previous day and, although it wasn’t New Year for their culture, we celebrated having crossed into that corner of the planet.
Dawned sunny and, for the first time in a week, the weather didn’t changed every 20 minutes. While I was having breakfast with Alejandra and Tomás, I answered some messages and resolved not to get hooked with people who complain and do not contribute.
To take advantage of the sun, Alejandra suggested me to take mates in the garden. We left and after a while we were joined by Gianluiggi, Tomás and another guest who was in my same room. The morning and the first hours of the afternoon passed between mates and talks, games with Kren, naps in the sun and more mates. A day of rest and good company were a good combination to start the year.
I went down to the coast with the intention of going to Long Beach. I took a bus from line A and got off at the stop indicated by the driver but, instead of reaching the beach, I walked along the route that borders the Beagle Channel. I needed to think.
Back in the hostel, I met Roy and Yaniv, two Israelis with who I shared the room, and I made them taste their first mate, obviously bitter. It is strange to see foreigners drinking mate, more if it’s their first time. Prisoners of a strong temptation, they can’t avoid moving the bulb, as if searching for the secret of that drink that the Argentines love so much. Then, they take a small sip of test and, if they like it, a second. Finally, they return it almost full.
After explaining that the bulb is left still and the mate must be drinked full, I wanted to know what brought them to the “End of the world”. Like so many Israelis, they had arrived to begin their tour of Latin America. Roy and Yaniv were also interested in my trip and the fact that I did it alone. The afternoon was filled with questions, which in general began with “How do you said …?”. Between laughter and repetitions, I was taught to say today, tomorrow, yesterday, I am, thank you, please and you’re welcome in Hebrew.
That night I also met “the aunt”, a woman who lived 6 months in the hostel as a monthly and then moved to Ushuaia. “Whenever we have a free time we come here,” she said, referring to herself and to those who, like her, had become part of the Cruz del Sur family.
“End of the world. Beginning of everything “, Ushuaia seemed to be the city that many chose to start from scratch.
Text and photos of Gabriela Naso.