Ushuaia, Provincia Tierra Del Fuego ? My travelling companion, a German from Cologne, points out the bus window to a snowy peak ahead.
"Ein berg - mountain," he says.
After many hours crossing arid plains filled with sheep estancias and low-lying scrub, the mountains ahead are an exhilarating change.
I met my partner in Rio Gallegos after a night bus brought me there from Puerto Madryn. Like me, he wanted to go further south. He'd been travelling with others who, not liking the cold, had opted to go to Santiago instead, leaving him solo.
When we met, we were near a kiosk whose attendant was pointing to a bus leaving for Tierra del Fuego. We agreed that two travelling together was better than one, and jumped aboard. His English is better than my German.
After a rough ride on the ferry across the Strait of Magellan, several checkpoints and a quick stop in Rio Grande, we wind up in the lower Andes and then in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost road-accessible port. We find a warm, clean hostel thanks to a zealous employee at the bus stop.
Ushuaia isn't the most southerly port in the world; Puerto Williams, across the bay in Chile, is. It would be possible to visit, but a breakfast conversation with a television journalist from Brasilia assures us it's little more than a concrete jetty plus a few houses and restaurants. Instead, we decide to walk to the San Martin glacier, west of town, with our new Brazilian friend.
At a supermarket, we shop for provisions: crackers, cheese and a few cans of Quilmes beer. The town is attractive, the houses' chalet-like architecture reminiscent of Banff or Jasper, but the rugged mountains ahead draw us through Ushuaia's streets with our eyes fixed straight ahead.
The glacier is lodged between two peaks. To get to it, we opt to pay 3 pesos for a ride on a ski lift instead of walking the 1-kilometre footpath.
On the glacier, we experience a year's worth of season changes in two hours.
A squall blows at us hard, followed by a sunshine warm enough to prompt us to take off our coats. The snow underfoot is crusty but firm, and we walk uphill fairly effortlessly.
The Brazilian journalist says the Ona Indians walked here in the past, with far fewer clothes and often barefoot. The German jokes that as a Canuck, I probably enjoy running around in the cold with few clothes on at home. "Only from the Americans," I assure him.
Naturally, this sort of two-legged travel in the mountains stimulates the appetite, so the three of us treat ourselves to a tenedor libre (all you can eat) of barbecued beef and vino tinto later that night.
As we sit down to our feast, the sun sinks in the west and clouds roll in from Antarctica.