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Ushuaia 1st March 2015

March 3, 2015

Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. 1st March 2015.

Well we’ve made it. Took us three weeks from the time we landed in BA to get here. 4600 kms. Long distances but enough breaks to make the whole trip enjoyable. The state of the main road, RN3, helped a lot. Not a pot hole until after Rio Gallegos. Even the gravel roads were mainly free of corrugations and well maintained.

The first job for us after arriving was to check out last minute berths to Antarctica.  Giles had said here was a boat leaving on the 5th March that were advertising last minute discounts We shall see tomorrow. It appears to be one of the last boats for the season so our chances could be sliim.

The last 200kms before Ushuaia saw a slow change in the landscape. From the flat pampas country hills began to appear. A couple of ancient laval flows spreading outwards from an extinct volcano, streams with cool clear water. Then the cordillera appeared on the horizon. The mountain range down here is actually the final fling of the Andes. Not sure how far up the continent it starts but it is quite a mountain range

2nd Feb. We camped in the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego last night and again tonight. Our campsite would have to be in one of the most picturesque situations we have had the pleasure to camp in. Yesterday when we arrived, there were quite a few families enjoying the fine sunny Sunday weather. As night closed in most departed apart from a couple of tenters. The waters for the Rio Novindo  comes down from the peaks surrounding us, this morning there was a new dusting of snow to about a third of the way down. The river forms almost a complete circle around where the camp site is. Shallow, a local told me it had Pacific salmon in it but at the end of the road, where the river meets the sea, ‘el pesque es grande!’ He was helpful in telling me the best fly to use.

Well, a shame but the plan to pick up a last minute trip to Antarctica was scrubbed today. The only berths available were later in the month and Joan would be in a 3 berth female and myself in a 3 berth male with outside ablutions. The price was also much more than we were led to believe. Instead we are taking a 4 night excursion to Cape Horn then four glaciers and ending up in the Chilean port of Punta Arenas. We then catch  a bus back to Ushuaia to pick up the bakkie. A shame about Antarctica but it was always a long shot. The ‘MV Via Australis’ leaves Ushuaia on the 9th March. A week to kill but there is an estancia 85kms from here that has camping and, we believe, is a great place to spend a few days. Estancia Harberton has been made famous by the book ‘Uttermost Part of The Earth’ by the son of the founder. Lucas Bridges was one of the first white person born in Teirra del Fuego in 1874, the local Yaghan people were his friends and confidants. We have been leant the book to read while out there.

Ushuaia is a real tourist town. The season is short but the locals make a killing while it’s on. Don’t blame them really. It must be a long cold off season for them. The town has a frontier feel to it which is only to be expected I guess. There is such a variety of types of housing here, most of at least two stories.

From → Patagonia 2015

One Comment
  1. Ross & Cathy permalink

    Bad luck about Antarctica. Really enjoying your trip – almost feel we are with you.

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