Welcome to Tierra del Fuego. This ferry took our bus (bus #2) across the Straits of Magellan and deposited us on the blustery, temperamental island. The ride itself was kind of interesting. We bought a ticket from Puerto Natales, Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina and wound up taking 3 separate vehicles. The first bus took us in the direction of Punta Arenas, Chile. Mid-way along the ride, the helper asked everyone who was going to Ushuaia to raise their hands. Most of the gringos did. A few minutes later the bus stopped in the middle of absolutely nowhere and we were told to get off and some instructions in Spanish followed. A group of us stood by the road with our bags a lot confused and cold. The wind was howling. A short while later another bus from the same company approached from the opposite direction. He whizzed by. We all looked at each other and shrugged. Eventually a bus (bus #2) that was interested in having us aboard came by and stopped. That bus took us to Rio Grande, Argentina where we were once again asked to ‘get off and take our stuff with us’. This time we were hearded into minivans that did, in fact, take us to Ushuaia.
This was the official welcome to Tierra del Fuego; customs and immigration. Fortunately this one wasn’t too painful.
Ushuaia at last! The last portion of the journey in the minivans provided fabulous views. We snaked our way through the last pitter-pat of the Andes Mountains and dropped into the picturesque city.
We were happy to get to our hostel since we had both contracted colds and were looking forward to a little down time before our flight to Buenos Aires in 5 days. La Posta was a great hostel and we met some really cool people. We spent the evenings drinking Argentine red wine and playing farkel.
Here we are at the end of the world, the fin de mundo, the southern-most city (of any significant size) in the world and there are people crazy enough to sail here! What are they thinking? It is cold. The weather is unpredictable and brutal and summer lasts about 6 days in January. You won’t be seeing Terra Firma here any time soon.
What are you people thinking?! It’s cold down here. Go north!
Ushuaia is very picturesque and we had an uncommonly good stretch of weather to enjoy it.
Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego. After getting over our colds we took an easy hike in the nearby national park. We were treated to some pretty incredible views as we ate our lunch. Of course with wine! What kind of question is that???
‘Take the picture quick. C’mon! This water is COLD!!!’. Here is Carrie standing ankle deep in the frigid waters of the Beagle Channel. Full out frostbite was about to set in by the time Pat took the picture. Maybe he was playing with f-stops, aperture settings, ASA’s and all that other stuff intentionally…..
There were tiny fragile flowers growing on the rocks in the park. Not much of a growing season here.
Here is Pat looking at the frigid waters of the Beagle Channel. Notice how his feet remain toasty, warm and dry inside his boots.
‘Dear Mom and Dad, send money and socks.’ Did you ever wonder how we answered emails while on the road? No? Maybe a few of you? Well, some of the hostels provided one or two computers where we could check our email for free. They were usually turn of the century machines with no USB ports, no CD burner, and processing power equivalent to a hamster on a wheel. But, hey, we were just happy to read all of your emails.