Blogs from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, South America - page 13

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South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia March 30th 2010

We were all woken at 4:30 this morning, for a 5am breakfast, cursing and swearing about how cold it was and wondering why we would still be camping when we reached Ushuaia, a stone’s throw from the bloody Antarctic! The thermals are on and will probably not come off for the next week as it will only get colder! Luckily the bus has heating, so we could catch up on sleep in comfort. To get to Ushuaia we had to make 2 border crossings (Argentina to Chile and vice versa) and a ferry crossing, during which a "tonina" dolphin and a penguin swam alongside us! Looking forward to the Beagle Channel crossing! Into Chile and the landscape changed once again, to lush green hillsides bordering bumpy gravel roads. On the border back into Argentina the truck ... read more
Wrapped up warm!

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego March 27th 2010

A bewildered tourist asks: “Where are the sheep?” “To be honest, you’re the sheep now,” replied the guide, sheepishly. Estancia Harberton, a smallish ranch by Argentine standards (a mere 50,000 acres, that’s all), has not really operated as a ranch since the mid-nineties, when the wool market bottomed and a horrible winter killed off much of its flock. Now it mostly earns income from the catamaran-loads of tourists who drop by on extended Beagle Channel tours or, more rarely, like me, drop by of their own accord. Hence, we are the new sheep of the farm. But why would anyone bother to make the trek to this now non-ranch ranch? At first glance, the modest cluster of whitewashed buildings huddled on a protected bay of the Beagle Channel might seem an odd tourist destination, especially considering ... read more
Getting off the Beaten Path
Silence and Calm
Bend in the Beagle

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia March 25th 2010

Contents 1. End of El Salvador, Surfing in El Tunco 2. 2 weeks in Argentina 3. Bariloche Swiss Alps meets South America 4. El Chalten. Hiking Argentinia´s Patagonia. 5. El Calafate and Glacier Moreno 6. Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire, and the end of the world). 1. End of El Salvador So i spent the last 2 weeks in El Salvador back at El Tunco beach learning how to surf. It went pretty well and was a great place to spend some time. By the end of my time there I was able to get up on some unbroken waves, and more importantly have a blast. 2. 2 weeks in Argentina But since March 10th, ive been in Argentina. But not just Argentina, Patagonia Argentina, which is the southern part of Argentina and famous ... read more
Top of the World
The Glacier Far
Snow Trekking

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia March 25th 2010

As I might have intimated in previous entries, I am visiting Tierra del Fuego as it is slipping into low season for tourism. Being in the southern hemisphere, it has just turned to autumn here; the summer crowds have drifted away and the Antarctica tours are coming to an end (as it is fast approaching winter on that frozen continent). Traveling off season has many, many advantages, especially considering that you don’t have to jostle with hordes of other tourists. The boat that I took for the Beagle Channel tour was less than half full (or half empty, depending on your predilection); the mini-bus to the National Park had to consolidate with three others to get enough passengers together to make the trip. The hiking trail in the park was nearly empty of other human beings. ... read more
Through the Forest
Bye, Ushuaia!
It looks so close, but...

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia March 24th 2010

The Beagle Channel divides Isla Grande from the southernmost islands in the squat toe of an archipelago that makes up Tierra del Fuego (itself separated from the mainland of South America by the Magellan Strait). The channel forms a natural point of reference in this dramatic, windswept corner of the world, and also forms a border in the weird political geography of the region: Argentina to the north, Chile to the south. Isla Grande itself is cut down the middle between the two countries, thus: Argentina to the east, Chile to the west. On a map the border looks as arbitrary as can be imagined, a plan devised on the back of a dinner napkin in one of the distant seats of power, in a land far, far away. Ushuaia, the capital of Argentine Tierra del ... read more
When it rains, it snows.
Preparing to Depart
Farewell, Chilean Ship!

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South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia March 24th 2010

Day 3 (Ushuaia) Knock on wood, the weather seems to be working in my favor during my stay in Tierra del Fuego. First there was the blue sky during my tour of the Beagle Channel, and now today a morning of overcast but dry, tranquil conditions - perfect for a hike. I took a mini-bus to the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, just 12 km to the west of Ushuaia (the park actually abuts the Chilean border of Isla Grande - watch where you are walking!). This was my first opportunity to get a taste of what the land looked like when Darwin visited and, more importantly, when the Yámana lived here. And what a land it is! I followed the Senda Costera trail that hugged the shores of Ensenada and Lapataia Bays, just off the ... read more
Bay Ensenada
Photo 4
Photo 5

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia March 22nd 2010

It’s so nice of the Ushuaians to set off fireworks just for my arrival to the End of the Earth! I knew it was a big occasion for me, but, wow, this is too much! Really, I don’t need all the attention….oh, wait, the fireworks are not for me? They are part of the bicentennial celebrations of the May 1810 Revolution? I guess I will just have to join in the fun in the southern most city in the world! *** But back to me. I need to get something off my chest. You see, I feel like I cheated. Here I am, at the tip of South America - or el Fin del Mundo, as it is well advertized - looking longingly southward towards tantalizingly close Antarctica (yet, to my frustration, out of reach seasonally ... read more
Descent to Ushuaia
Ushuaia, in the Mist
Saint Christopher

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia March 17th 2010

What Dana got up to after I left.... read more
Photo 4
Photo 5
Photo 6

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia February 27th 2010

Looks like Scandinavia? Feels like Scandinavia! The Beagle Channel could easily be a fjord landscape, the snow topped mountains could easily be the ones of Northern Norway, the houses are as colourful as the ones in the North and even the architecture is a bit similar. The climate is as rough as it could be in Lapland. And the people are as outdoor orientated as anyone in Scandinavia could be. :o) In summer, the days are long and the nights are short. Nevertheless, it is still the South and it is still Argentina. The summer is in January and the in July people go skiing because it is winter. Even if it is cold, the sun is more intense over here and you easily get burnt by the sun if you forget to put on the ... read more
Ushuaia views
Ushuaia views
view over the Beagle Channel

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia February 26th 2010

Trip - Strait of Magellan The odyssey began on Saturday at 2am with a pilgimage to the bus station. I was to make a connection in Rio Gallegos at 8am and then travel to Rio Grande with an ETA of 4:30pm. The first leg of the trip was timed perfectly. So it was that we left Rio Gallegos on time, with good weather. Weather, however, was not our concern - we were going to have to cross into Chile and then back into Argentina to reach our destination. The Chilean controls at Chille-Argentina border crossings have so far proven to be a real drag, so two of them in one day bore heavily on everyone's moods. Sure enough, the first border crossing took nearly 4 hours, pushing up my ETA to 8:30pm. The second border ... read more
glaciar el Marcial
landscape
landscape




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