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Lapataia Bay

Scene 7

Maille was tempted to take a bath. He found a rock that stuck out flat like a boat ramp into the Lapataia Bay – the ideal place from where to take the plunge. But the moment he made contact with the water, a heavy, ice-cold shower of rain started to lash the little tongue of land. He quickly got out of the water in order to bring himself and his seven things back to dry comfort.

In Tierra del Fuega, the weather changes so rapidly that one is always in the wrong clothes. So much so that Aristide Lautremois, the famous South Pole explorer from Santa Lemusa devoted an entire page of his travel notes to the moods of the Fueganic weather. Before embarking on his Antartic journey he had stopped for a few days at the Ushuaia Station – perhaps in order to prepare his equipment or to wait for the best wind. Years earlier, Maille had visited the small Museum of the Fondation Lautremois in Port-Louis, where a few pictures, documents and objects commemorate the sole South Pole expedition undertaken under a Santa Lemusan banner.