South America Day 17 - Tierra del Fuego National Park

Published: January 25th 2019
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Ushuaia is a strange place; a town tumbling the hillside between the Andes and the sea. It doesn’t get dark until 10 pm, prior to that is a dusk of eerie yellowish grey, and it’s light again by 5 am.

Today we are going to Tierra del Fuego National Park. We walk to the shuttle buses departure point. It’s shockingly expensive (more than double what we’d expected) but we cough up and head for the park. After a brief stop to hand over more money for entry fees, we reach the visitor centre.

Fortified with empanadas, we set forth on a 5 hour hike. It’s very beautiful; on one side the Beagle Channel with its abundant bird life, on the other snow capped mountains. Most of the area is peat bog so the rivers and lakes are a spooky green-brown colour.

We walk to the beacon at the end of the world and (once I have pocketed a souvenir rock for my baby geologist) return to the visitor centre via an area which fell victim to a disastrous attempt to introduce beavers to the park.

Returning to Ushuaia is surprisingly complicated. There are dozens of seemingly identical white buses all bearing the logo ‘Linea Regular’ but they are all owned by different companies and our ticket is only valid on one particular bus. It leaves in two hours. So we while away the time watching the cloud descend over the mountains (our bus driver is sitting at the table behind us for the whole of these two hours).

Once the driver is suitably siestaed, we can go back to town. We pile onto the bus, wait a while, then are told to change to a different bus. Finally, we depart in a convoy of similar, yet somehow subtly different buses.

Additional photos below
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