Tierra del Fuego Local Custom Tips by globetrott Top 5 Page for this destination
Tierra del Fuego Local Customs: 7 reviews and 31 photos
Rio Grande : this is what they call a "big river"
Dont expect a mighty waterstream, when you plan to take a tour to Rio Grande ! Rio Grande (=Big River) is certainly not the right expression for that narrow river but in comparison with the other small rivers that you will normally see in Fireland / Tierra del Fuego the first settlers might have had the feeling that this is a mighty river.
The river will spread also quite a lot shortly after it passed by that bridge, and it will form a lake for the last few hundred meters, before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. This lake is also the reason, why you will see the town already beeing constructed very close to the Panamericana Highway, but you still have to drive all the way around a large bend in order to be able to finally get into town.
Merry Christmas for a dead girl
When driving through Tierra del Fuego, dont miss to take a look at the cemeteries ! The one in Rio Grande for instance is conveniently located directely along the N3, the Panamericana Highway and once you have entered the gates, you come to a different world: You will find a lot of rows of small "houses" for the dead bodies. And inside these houses, you will see all sorts of ornaments and decorations, children-toys, photographs and other things that you will hardly ever find in an european cemetery. You will see the coffin standing there as well and some of the doors of the houses are open and everybody can enter.
The most touching grave you will see in my first 3 photos here, it is the grave for a young girl, who died in the age of 6 years and you will see a room filled with all sorts of toys, and when we came around december 10th it even had a "merry Christmas" - stocking in the door...
When taking a look at the inscriptions of maps, books or postcards you will hardly ever find the expression "Falkland-Islands" but always instead the name "Islas Malvinas"! That is the local name for the Falkland Islands and here in Fireland you will find in almost every village and town a monument for the soldiers, who were fighting for them just a few years ago. This is the one in Rio Grande, it is actually a series of monuments along the main road N3 and is also the wall of the local army barracks.
Take a look at any map in Argentina, the Falkland islands will always be written there "Islas Malvinas (Arg.)"
This is the house of an early pioneer in Rio Grande and I found it accidentally, when searching for a petrol-station. The house dates back to the early years of the 20th century and was given as a heritage to the state of Argentina by the Menendez-family. Then it became the first Telephone-office in Rio Grande, but nowadays it is private property again.
It is a good idea to search for such pink signposts as shown in my last photo, when driving or walking through Rio Grande, so you wont miss any of the sights.
This building is close to the port of Rio Grande!
This ancient locomovil is one of the interesting exhibits in the outdoor-area of the prison-museum in Ushuaia. A Locomovil was used as a local power-station for the saw-mills of the prisoners, powered by steam and dating back to the first years of the 20th century. You will see this great old machinery next to the original locmotive of the former prison-train in one of the innercourts of the former prison, BUT it is in a place, where you will be able to enter any time of the day freely and without restrictions or the need of paying an entrance-fee.
You will see this in many places in Tierra del Fuego / Fireland :cars and other machineries are standing somewhere, rusting but not thrown away. There are several reasons for that, first of all, iron is not rusting as fast as in other parts of the world and another reason might be, that once such a machinery was taken to the end of the world with a lot of shipping-costs,they might still sell some of its parts as spareparts to someone or use them for other machineries.
Here in Rio Grande, in the Misión Salesiana de Santo Domingo, where I took all of these pics they might also serve to explane some functions to the pupils of the school of agriculture.
This is a "sight" of Estancia Haberton that you will see only in low tide : The foundations of one of the piers was made by some old iron-wheels that were obviously not needed anymore and while such things might be thrown away in other parts of the world, the people of Tierra del Fuego / Fireland will keep it and use it for something else.
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