Saturday, February 18, 2012

From Rio to the end of the world

9th to 13th Feb 

After the flying day from hell (4am start, missed connection, 5 hour airport sits blah blah blah) we went from 38 degrees in Rio to a warm sunny day in Ushuaia of 11 degrees. Southernmost city in the world and commonly called the end of the world. FYI, you are often told that the South American culture is slower so expect delays. They are not joking, especially at airports, sit back and relax and expect things to go wrong, they will.


The view from our hotel room at dusk
First day here we took a catamaran on the Beagle Channel and saw cormorants and seals and stopped off at spots with breathtaking views of the snow topped mountains. The air and seas are so clear and fresh.






Along the first trail




The next day was optional trek through the Torres del Fuego national park. We decided to do trails 1 AND 2, because we thought one was just not enough. 13+ km of mountainous trekking virtually all of it steeply up or down through the forest. My legs are aching and I am expecting to take several days to recover.

The view from the bottom







Our transport for the next 20 days






The final day began our 13 hr truck drive (not a bus) along rough and dusty roads to Chile. This included a 2 hour ordeal getting through the border with a near disaster as one of our party (not us) had undeclared bananas. Had lunch on the side of the road. We finally arrived in Punta Arenas, luggage covered in dust, at 9pm. The next day was a visit to the Magellan Penguins as they came in from the ocean in the afternoon. Cute little munchkins. The next day was another truck trip to our camping adventure at Torres del Paine (pain?)...

Lunch by the side of the road