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Published: February 13th 2012
Trekking up to Glacier Martial
Jon ahead of me.... Still claiming superior fitness!
With a 3.30am
start we were on the road to Ushuaia the most southern city in the world and we have a passport stamp to prove it!!!A quick £10 trek to BA City's airport Jorge Newbery from out hostel. All's really quiet on the roads and then you descend on mayhem!!!!!! Welcome to a city airport at 4.45am
on a Monday morning
........ We managed to check in at the self service so thought we'd be in for a quick bag drop......
Well.... You know what thought did..... An hour later we've managed it and are rushing though customs for our flight....no need really as our flight was due to leave at 6.20am
and we finally departed the run way at 7.45am
..... Apparently a common occurrence with Aerolineas....be warned ......Met a lovely lady called Irene on the flight who's offered to show us around BA when we go back and we helped her out with a few places to stay in London, she was a landscape architect so you can only imagine how much chitty chatting went on between her and Jon.... Good job she spoke word perfect English....
After a good hearty breakfast of cake and chocolate muslei bar 😞 very weak tea for
me and über string coffee for Jon we were landing in 'the southern most city in the world...... 'ushuaia' and checking into Hostel Antarctica and my first experience of 'dorm life'......Not much chance of us practising a great deal of Spanish here.... Looking around and listening most people were either European or Australian and the receptionist spoke perfect English....Fab hostel, really well set up with a reception that doubled as a bar, open plan with a comfy settee clad communal area overlooked by a maisonettes floor which housed the best kitchen facilities ever, meaning no need to go out for any meals ...... The shower blocks were at the back with the laundry facilities and always had plenty of hot water and no queues.......We were shown to our new home for the next 3 days.... Bunks 1 and 2 in room 4, which was the closest to the kitchen, which did prove a bit noisy as that was also the only way through to the bathrooms in the night..... But I'd still recommend this hostel everyday of the week, even despite our jack in a box dorm mate from California who joined us on the last night and proceeded to
Sea Lion Island- Beagle Channel
If you squint you can see the big Daddy Sea Lion..... Oh and let's just imagine those are long necked penguins for a sec......
be up and down like a yo yo..... Not great when we had to be up at 5am
...... We wouldn't have minded if he didn't proceed to jump down from his top bunk, every time he needed to go, and shook the room as a result!!
As it was still early on the first day when we got there and the sun was shining we decided to do the walk up Glacier Martial... We took a taxi up to where the walk started and sacked off the chair lift and walked it..... Now 500 meters doesn't seem a long way does it...... Well... It is when it's practically vertical..... And that was only to the top of section 1 where the chair lift dropped the lazy off..... The next bit, 750 metres needs a few more pit stops as its tougher but you can't complain about taking a breather when you have that view to look at.... It is stunning to see the bay and the town so small in the distance..... When you finally do reach the top (about 45mins) the glaciers are underwhelming as far as glaciers go but again you can't complain, just look the other way
at the view and be quiet......Having pounded our way down at a much quicker pace we decided to walk the whole way down to town as it never gets dark here! Plenty of time (obviously we'd been energised by our bit of exercise and forgotten we'd been up for 16 hours already!!)We did get to practise our Spanish on the way down through the forest as we got a bit lost and had to ask a group out on a school trip the right way.... Thankfully they put us right and we had a lovely 3 hour walk through the forest by the stream down to Ushuaia following the yellow route......Scrambled Egg Omelette with soup for tea...... With total food envy as the Spanish couple had made Paella...... And it smelt Devine...All followed by a hot shower and a good nights sleep, well earned!
Day 2 we decided we wanted a bit more of the hiking and scenery action and headed up to Tierra Del Fuego National Park.... With the bus and entrance fee setting us back £30 each.... The budget was blown with that and the accommodation alone....good job we we're all packed up from our trip to
Ushuaia Bay, Chilie in the distance.... Pretty special.....
the super market..... Anyway some things you just have to do and a great day that saw every weather type possible, great views and again we got to stretch our legs in the fresh air... Wildlife viewing a bit sparse but we did spot our first condor way up in the distance and discovered the caracara- very common falcon.... Noisy as......
Back to the hostel inspired by the Spanish Couple from the previous day we went back to the supermarket and decided to cook up something a bit more adventurous.... Ravioli with tomatoes and peppers .... We were quite pleased with our choice that set us back all of £4... Until we got back to the smell of Lamb Stew...... Nevertheless we were filled and had a lovely chilled out evening chatting to an Australian girl who'd just arrived.
Day 3.... We can't believe how many people from our hostel are going to Antarctica .... It's $4000 at a last minute price........no wonder people going stay in a hostel prior....2 of our dorm buddies have left for there, one yesterday and another today.... Apparently they tell you that it gets booked up really fast at home and push
you into getting it booked .... Sound familiar lol....but we've seen loads of signs for these last minute trips.... Non cheaper than €3990 though and to get those you might have to extend your trip by a few days but hey it's an option if you're willing and you can...
Not us though... With our £83 budget per day.......
Not that we did very well with that again on day 3......
This was our day out on our little boat, cruising out on the Beagle Channel to see the sea lion colony on....cormorants and light house plus have our little trek on Bridges Island and learn a bit of history about the original inhabitants - Yamana... £80 gone..... Boat left at 9.30am
and it was a great group as most of the people on the tour were from a GAP trekking tour.... They were all really friendly and were working their way down as we were up, so it was great to hear what they'd seen an done whist in Torres Del Paine, El Calafate and El Chalten.... It sounded like they had all had a fantastic time, GAP do have a great reputation for those tours though....Without
Never fear the penguins are here!
doubt this trip was worth every penny.... I have never been to or seen a place so beautiful ..... With the scenery and what you saw on this boat trip you couldn't help but be in awe and just savour very second...... Danielle our guide was fantastic too, so passionate and knowledgable about everything...I even found out about the global light house colour code..... The wild life didn't disappoint and we saw seals playing in the surf, sea lions lazing on the rocks, skuas attacking cormorants and cormorants ganging back up and giving as good as they got..... On the island we ate Calafate berries and some other red ones and saw the strangest plant that looks like a pretty moss covered rock but its actually all plant and it grows 2/3mm every year... All this not to mention the Andes working their way down to the water, Chilie to one side and Argentina to the other ...... absolutely stunning. It was freezing but the constant supply or tea, coffee, hot choc and biscuits along with the scenery and great conversation, takes your mind off that and as we'd gone on the smaller boat our wow moment was pulling up almost on the island where the sea lions were, so we could observe them from really close up....hope they didn't mind.... 😊
Earlier back than we had been the 2 previous day so had a really chilled out afternoon chatting to some great people all with really interesting stories to tell of themselves and their travels so far....Highlight of the evening was seeing the Spanish couple copy our tea from the night before .... We must have inspired them lol!!
Oh and how could I forget I passed the grammar check point on my TEFL course..... :D!!!!! And then to bed as we had a bus to catch to Chile the next day.......
Or maybe not.......
Important Point To Note..... If you are travelling with Bus Sur...... Double check the information on departure time and location with a local company...... We waited 90 mins in the cold and rain at the wrong location (the Bus Station, how can that be the wrong location?....)waiting for our Bus to Puerto Natalis......
Oh well, there are worse places you could be forced to stay for an extra day so after getting ourselves booked on a bus for the following day and our hostel being fantastic moving things round so we even had our own beds back and making sure we took advantage of the free load of washing we could get done by booking through hostel world, we headed for a long walk up the coast through an estacion and forest, it was fantastic, again the views of the glacier and the bay took your breathe away.... Only down side was we decided to again walk all the way back into town after we'd got a taxi out there and this meant we had to walk on the main road for about 2 hours so you can imagine the colour of us by the time we made it back to the hostel, we were filthy, covered in dust!!!
A good wash and some Spag Bol in our tums, pack ups made for the morning ready for our 15.5 hour bus journey to Puerto Natalis.... What can I say.....
'' we want to come back....... ALREADY.....''
Great hostel, great company, beautiful scenery and wildlife, plenty of exercise of the natural variety..... We loved it!!
We have never been to a place where a day can start with gale force winds, calm down, be cold and dull, then rain light then a bit heavier, then the sun come out and finish you off with a bit of sun burn.....
So put your sun cream on first, followed by your thermals, plenty of layers, your water proofs, hat and sunglasses........ EVERYDAY.... Lol!!!!
Until next time when it will be greetings from Chilie.....
Love Michelle and Jon x x x
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