Jack's travelblog

Tierra del Fuego, Land of Fire

Sunday 22 January. At 8:30 h I take the bus to Ushuaia. It’s a local bus, but still quite good. First part is still Pampas and sheep till we’re at the ferry. Here we cross the Strait of Magellan. It’s 10 C and windy, but the view is great. Half way several Commerson’s dolphins join the boat. The black head and tail with the white body makes it even more special. At the other side we’re on Tierra del Fuego, Land of Fire. The landscape is endless and changing just slowly. A beauty for sure. Near Ushuaia the scenery is more dramatic, more mountainous. The first snow on top of the mountains appears. Although they are just around 1000 m high.

It’s evening when we arrive in Ushuaia. Hard to find a place to stay, but I find a shelter for the night.

Monday I have to move to another hotel, La Casa en Ushuaia, a nicer one with view on the bay. The weather changes all the time. Cloudy and an hour later sunny again, but always windy. I’ll climb the mountain of glacier Martial and have a wonderful view on the bay.

Tuesday Ursula and I leave for the bus station. We catch a bus to the national park of Land of Fire. Just before the entrance of the park you can take the train to go into the park. A few minutes later we see where the train ends. That’s a very short distance. We get off the bus near the lake and do the number 2 trail. The trail goes along the shore and the view is amazing. This is a harsh climate and the trees have small leaves and lot of moss on it. The atmosphere of the woods near the lake is hard to explain, but beautiful. Lunch at the lake and two birds of prey are hopping around us. Begging for food. When they don’t get anything they try it somewhere else. In and near the lake ducks, gooses and seagulls. It’s still early, so time for a nice café con leche with passion fruit cake and then the next trail. Landscape changes slowly, but is always impressive. Back ‘home’ a good shower, diner in town and a good sleep.

Wednesday another trip. This time to Lago Esmeralda. In the bus the driver tells us stories about this place. Proud she tells that Leonardo Dicaprio shot here a part of his movie The Revenant. The first part of the trail is through chaotic wood, but luckily there is always a small blue sign. On the way we see a few beaver dams. They are impressive big and quiet high. The trail goes up again and then we have to cross a swampy area. There is a kind of trail with occasionally some wood. If we’re lucky the wood is arranged as a bridge in the mud or just as ‘floating’ device. Today is sunny and at Lago Esmeralda the view is great. Perfect for lunch. We go around the lake and back to the pickup point. A perfect day.

 

Friday a boat trip to the islands in the Beagle Canal. It’s partly sunny and the sea is calm. On the islands colonies of gannets. A sea lion is resting on the rocks. Apparently not annoyed by the sound of the birds. The next island an even bigger colony and some sea lions. We spot a extreme white rock. Solid bird shit. Next stop the light house. Here a colony of sea lions is bathing in the sun. And it seems some have a quarrel. On the Bridges Islands we step on land and see a small round pit. For four thousand years the natives used this spot to build a tent. Eat mussels and throw the shells just outside the tent. After thousands of years is seems more a pit. The natives lived here bare naked. A bit strange in an hostile climate as here. They eat the fat of sea lions and put it on their body. Besides they build fires everywhere and all the time. The reason for the Europeans to call it Land of Fire.

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