After a day spent on buses and a night in a hostel/family home in Punta Arenas, Chile we got up at a ridiculously early hour in order to spend yet another day on a bus. This time he destination was Ushuaia the southern-most city in the world and only 1000km from Antarctica. The bus itself was fairly uneventful but took 14 hours on what can best be described as mud and gravel masquerading as a road. Arriving at 11pm was an odd experience as it was still light, like summer back home! We got settled into the hostel and then went out for some soup in a bar/cafe down on the docks that felt like a ship's cabin from the old days. The next day we went to the National Park of Tierra Del Fuego and did a trek along the coast ending at the furthest south post office where we wrote postcards to various people and obtained a rather sweet passport stamp. After waiting what seemed like an eternity for the minibus back to Ushuaia we decided we had earned a good meal and went to a place in the centre of town, all I can say is Patagonian Lamb skewers, chips and a dulce de leche milkshake hit the spot pretty well! Later that evening we boarded a boat, after meeting a white argentine rastafarian ticket collector, to take us on a tour of the islands near Ushuaia. The tour guide Pablo, a man we would later meet again, and Captain Nestor took us to islands populated by sea birds and a massive colony of sealions who, though cool, give off a fair stench. The bitter wind made standing on the outside deck a little bit of a challenge but one that was managed and certainly made easier by the hot coffee provided upon returning indoors! After passing the "Lighthouse at the end of the world" and having a wander around one of the islands the trip took a rather surreal twist. Pablo decided to crank the Reggaeton music, give us some Cape Horn beer and throw a mini dance party on the rear deck. A strange but highly enjoyable experience. The next day...penguinos! Another early start and a minibus to the departure point of the boat had to be endured before we got on the boat and jetted out into the Beagle Channel to the island where the penguins nest. As we approached the shore of the island we had to be very quiet and slide over the side of the boat on to the beach so as not to alarm the penguins. After a quick talk about the rules for interacting with the penguins we started taking pictures and generally enjoying being so close to such wonderful yet ridiculous creatures. After a good while spent on the beach we walked over to the other side of the island to look at the nests the penguins use...the other side of the island was a LOT windier and a lot colder(though the jacket and hat meant it was only really my hands that got properly cold). We spent another wee while wondering around the nests which was unbelievable, some of the nests and penguins were literally a foot away, though they always seemed to walk away as we posed for photos...I'm sure they did it on purpose. We headed back to the boat, with the obligatory last photos on the beach, and back across to the mainland. The time the bus left at allowed us a 20 minute break to enjoy the hot chocolate and cake at the Estancia's cafe before going back into Ushuaia. That night we went out for a fairly fancy meal as it was Nikki's birthday, the restaurant and the food was really nice but slightly marred from my point of view by my accidentally hitting a women at the table across from us with a bottle cap and forgetting the fact that my chair didnt have a back and that someone was behind me when I leaned back, slightly awkward. From there we decided to take advantage of free beer voucher we had for the Irish bar round the corner which was good, especially after we finally managed to get a table! At the bar, and many "Vodka y Speed"s later, we ran into Pablo the guy from the boat. He said that we should go with him and his friends to a club, I was shocked that there even was one in Ushuaia to be honest! After stopping in for a drink at "Dreamland" a bar which had a tango night on(Alice and I tried to get into the swing of it but with poor results, while Lucie had a tango with a charming old Argentine man!), we followed Pablo and his crazy Colombian friend to another bar while being taught Argentine Christmas songs, which unfortunately now escape my memory. At the bar Pablo provided free drinks through his friendship with the barman, including a weird green sparkling wine which "tasted like a tree". After a while Alice and I decided to head home while the others continued to party on. At around 6am Alice and I heard the others, very loudly, coming up the stairs, including one of them(who shall remain anonymous) bemoaning how well she had gotten to know Pablo. Their entrance into the room contained much hilarity, mostly provided by Emily who firstly danced around in a ballet-style while singing "Feliz Navidad"(Merry Christmas) and then slid/lunged across the room to talk to Alice and ended up headbutting the metal part of my bed. The next morning saw everyone in a lot less high-spirited mood. Packing my bags for pretty much the last time was a surreal experience as well. The goodbyes were pretty crap to be honest so won't dwell on them too long. After a flight that was delayed and the ridiculously difficult task of finding a cab at Aeroparque Jorge Newbury I finally made it to my digs for the next 2 nights, the 1 star Hotel Bolivar in San Telmo. Spent the sunday wondering around the San Telmo market, ran into Noah and Steve who were buying brownies... That night went to a Mexican restaurant with Amy, Lena and Amy's family and said my final goodbyes. The plane home was very uneventful despite a 2 hour delay at Paris I was just thankful that it was one of the few that didnt get cancelled because of the snow! Stepped of the plane at Edinburgh Airport in around -10C, everything covered in snow and pitch dark...home sweet home!