Tierra del Fuego
May 14, 2012
After I posted my first letter and photos from Ushuaia, I received these two comments:
“Why do you spend more than one day in Ushuaia?” Wrote one friend.
“This is a place I don’t need to visit, thank you.” Wrote another friend.
Everyone is entitled to her opinion and reaction. Perhaps my new photos will have a positive effect?
The morning after our climb of Glaciar Martial, Susanna and I took the bus to Parque Nacional. With all the other young travelers, Susanna hopped off the bus at the entrance where they began a three hour hike. But given the condition of my legs after the previous day’s climb, I stayed alone aboard the bus and headed for the cafeteria at Lago Roca.
After a hot coffee, I assembled my hiking stick and began a slow, scenic stroll along the flat gravel road beside the lake. Snow capped mountains surround me in every direction. A narrow, hilly path diverged from the road to Rio Lapataia where my hiking stick was essential equipment. For about two hours, in a bit of rain and a chill breeze, it’s just me, alone, with the lake and the river, the trees, the distant mountains and the birds. Have you ever seen a pair of black-headed swans? So smooth. So serene.
Susanna and her group finally showed up at the cafeteria…all quite exhausted.
The next morning we arranged a three hour Beagle Channel cruise: lots of birds and lots of seals, up close and personal. The seals snuggle with each other on the rocky islands or they flap about in the icy water. Are they looking for breakfast or are they just having fun? From the open water, the mountain scenery is brilliant.
After each day’s excursion-exertion, Susanna and I treated ourselves to a well-deserved good dinner. One night we found Chiko, a Chilean-owned seafood restaurant. One night we went to the Dublin Irish Pub where they serve a local beer…green! On our last night we found an Argentinean BBQ at the Bodegon Fueguino Restaurante.
So, my friends, here’s what I’m thinking:
Because of my long itinerary, I planned to leave Ushuaia after four days. But, I could have stayed longer.
My friends’ comments to the contrary, there’s so much to see in the Tierra del Fuego: more sights in the National Park, more islands to explore, a cross-border visit to Chile.
The Straits of Magellan!
Whales. Penguins. Ice!
See you there?