31.01.17 Ushuaia and a visit to see the penguins
The last three days we have spent exploring Ushuaia, and reflecting on our ride to here, before starting the long 2,000 mile haul back up through Argentina. We’re guessing the return journey on the same roads may be a little more tricky without the momentum of euphoria to keep us going.
Ushuaia turned out to not be quite as cold as we had imagined. In fact, rather like a mild winter’s day at home (although it is of course summer here in Ushuaia), with blue skies a crisp feel to the air.
There are many visitors to the city all year around, it is a cruise liner destination, and during our three days, we saw three visiting cruise ships. For attractions there is the possibility of taking the train to the end of the world, or visiting the end of the most southerly road in the world (as we did). There is hiking in the snow topped mountains, for miles around, or a visit to the national park full of lakes, walks and hikes to view animals. People also visit in order to board cruise ships bound for Antarctica, crossing the notoriously rough Drake passage.
There is also the chance of visiting islands with penguin colonies, which is exactly what Patrick and Paul did yesterday. It had been Patrick’s dream and motivation for his trip, to see a penguin in its natural environment, and Paul and he took off in a helicopter yesterday, visiting Estancia Harberton, then heading off in an inflatable boat to Martillo Island where they saw thousands of penguins! There were two visiting King Penguins, and scores of nesting Magellan and Gentoo penguins. They described it as noisy, and fascinating. The Magellan birds live and nest in burrows, and the Gentoo create a ring of stones to keep their eggs safe.
On the return flight they flew over a shipwreck of a passenger boat from 1928, which used to run to Buenos Aires, and had good views of the city of Ushuaia.
Today we have returned to the town of Rio Grande, where the temperature is considerably warmer, and the wind a lot stronger again!