After the Torres del Paine we decided to go all the way down to Tierra del Fuego, the Land of Fire. An amazing archipelago of one big and a lot of smaller islands far down in the south of Chile and Argentina. First stop for me was Ushuaia, which calls itself the southernmost city in the world.
The city is just great. It is located between an impressing mountain range in the back and the Beagle channel in the front. But I found it even more impressive that I have never seen so many cheerful and happy people before. I saw a lot of smiles, laughter, and hugs between people who just met in the supermarket, at an ATM, or on the street. What an awesome attitude. I would really love to import some of this warmth and happiness into my life and back to Germany.
Went with Rüdiger to the Laguna Encantada and up to the Cerro Esfinge (well almost). Just a few minutes away from Ushuaia we went through swamps and mountain forests up to the Laguna with a beaver dam and lodge. Afterward we tried to climb Cerrro Esfinge. But it was very cold, steep, slippery so we decided to return before we reached the top.
Next day we all went to see the penguins. On the way to the Haberton ranch we passed some flag trees that are deformed by the constantly blowing strong wind from the sea. A small boat took us from the ranch to the Isla Martillo, where we saw a lot of penguins: Magellanic penguins, Gentoo penguins and even one king penguin, which had somehow gone astray but apparently liked it on the island. Penguins are really cute creatures and one can get very close, ’cause they are not afraid of men.
After the tour it was time for a lot of goodbyes. First Rüdiger invited us for a farewell dinner, ’cause he needed to go back to work. Thanks Rüdiger for the dinner. Thanks for joining and enriching the trip for a month! Thanks for bringing down all my hiking stuff AND for taking it back! He even managed to get it here and back without paying any overweight fees. Amazing. Thanks for being a great chef in these four weeks! Thanks for good discussions and a lot of fun! And good luck for your “project” back in Germany ;-) A day later, Beatrice said “Hasta luego.” We met her when hiking around Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, went to the glaciers in El Calafate together and met again in Ushuaia. Well, Beatrice, thanks for joining our team, thanks for all the good advice about Asia and for some good wines.
Two days later Claudi left. We traveled half of the last six months together. So it was quite sad to say goodbye, especially as it came a bit unexpected. Claudi, THANKS for the great time of traveling with you! And again THANKS for asking me to join you on your world trip! I can not emphasize that enough, ’cause I would not be on this trip if you had not asked. And what would I have missed… Gracias por todo, ’cause it is to much to write down. Let’s say “See you” instead of “goodbye”. Pass auf Dich auf und “tu’ was Du willst”!
I spent a wonderful day walking around in the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Along the coast line of the Beagle channel, through some forest in autumn colors and along the many lakes of the Lapataia area. Aside from that I had a few relaxed days, enjoyed the great atmosphere of Ushuaia, and trained some Karate before I took the boat to Puerto Williams. Thanks to Lorenzo and Martin for all the good advice and the typical warmth and smiles of the “Ushuaianians” whenever coming into the great Freestyle hostel. And another big thank you to Yana and Marco for “working behind the scenes” and providing a extremely clean and well maintained hostel!
Best greets from the wild and rough but extremely beautiful Land of Fire!