Monday February 16, 2015
It turns out that Carnival here in Ushuaia is not quite the same as in Rio. At least as far as we can tell. No giant Sambadrome anyway! But Maipu street, which runs parallel to the waterfront, was taken over by thousands of people both watching and performing. There were about five or six schools large groups of drummers and dancers that we saw go past.
The event also appeared to centre around spraying a white, soapy foam onto random people in your immediate vicinity. I couldn’t deduce any particular guidelines about what constituted an acceptable assault — children were busily spraying an elderly gentleman in a three piece suit while teenagers battled it out between themselves. As far as we can tell, the foam simply evaporated over a short period of time so you didn’t have to worry too much about getting it on your clothes. That being said, I still noticed an angry glare from a middle-aged mother who’d taken a shot to the eyeball. It seems even some locals enjoy the tradition and others don’t as much. The spray was being sold in large bulk packs of 9 from the trunks of cars and on street corners.
The drum beats were catchy and the dancers knew how to shake! The whole production was a bit chaotic, but certainly entertaining to watch. Toward the end of the gallery here, there’s a shot of a traditional “parilla” where they serve slow-cooked meats (with lamb being a specialty). You’ll often walk by a window and suddenly feel like you’ve been transported into some kind of medieval torture dungeon with witches being burned over the fire. No worries, though. It’s just a restaurant!