After a full day of travel with 3 bus changes, a ferry ride and a bordering crossing we made it to Ushuaia, Argentina otherwise known as ‘The End of the World”.
This is the southernmost city in the world with a port in which ships leave for Antarctica and was our final stop in Patagonia. Winter came early this year here as the day we arrived it was snowing, which made it all the more beautiful to see the 360-degree view of mountains covered in snow. On a clear day this town is unreal, every direction you look are cascading mountains right along the ocean. The running trail on the edge of town we enjoyed a couple times made the top 3 runs of the whole trip, as the views were simply jaw dropping in every direction.
We enjoyed one full rainy day where we hunkered down in our hostel all day watching movies and sipping hot coco. The next afternoon we booked a catamaran ride through the Beagle Channel to visit 3 islands and the famous old, red and white lighthouse that is still in use. The first island was Bird Island, which was full of birds that are related to the penguin family. They looked like miniature penguins that could fly. Next was Sea Loin Island, covered in you guessed it, sea loins! They were large, stinky and growled at each other a lot. But the baby loins were funny to watch as they tried to chase the penguin birds. The final island, which was the highlight, was Penguin Island where we were lucky enough to catch 3 species of penguins during their last couple weeks in the area before they migrate north. We couldn’t help but giggle as we watched them walk around, stretch and dive into the water. It was quite a unique experience to have real penguins in our presence.
After our boat trip and a sunset we went to a great little seafood restaurant called Freddy’s that was packed every time we walked by. We waited in line for a small table by the kitchen and it was well worth it. Unfortunately, we were too late for the fresh king crab in the tanks as they were all sold out. But we got delicious king crab soup along with a king crab and clams dish for Zane, salmon for Katie paired with an Argentina white wine.
Tierra Del Fuego National Park was our last stop. It is where the Andes Mountains end right at the ocean. After seeing so many crazy mountains in Patagonia this park did not blow us away but had one of the most peaceful hikes we have experienced. Keeping it simple we hiked a flat trail along a bay of the Beagle Channel in dense evergreen and peat moss forests. Coming along horses and huge trees permanently wind blown from the crazy Patagonia winds made it serene. To top off the tranquility we found a quiet cove for lunch and to skip some rocks.
After a month of traveling south from Santiago to the end of South America on many long, exhausting bus rides we were relieved to take a 3-hour flight out of here to Buenos Aires instead of 50-hours of buses rides!
More pics with some videos of the penguins and sea loins: