23rd-25th. February, Ushuaia, Tierre del Fuego
We are now in Ushuaia at the uttermost part of the earth. There was a fine view from the plane at sunset of the Beagle Channel, named after the survey ship on which Darwin travelled with Captain Fitz Roy. It was not Darwin but Magellan who gave the Patagonian Indians their name, although the real derivation is not certain. Bruce Chatwin has a long discourse about it. I have finished reading his book in the plane to Ushuaia and now lent it to one of the others.
The weather has been quite kind to us so far and we first had a boat trip in the Beagle Channel to see sea-lions and seabirds, both very good and close, with views of the mountains behind. In the afternoon I took a little chairlift and walked up to the top of a pass at about 1,000m. I had a murky view over the other side for a few minutes but then it started to snow quite heavily so I came down. Afterwards there was blue sky again of course. In the evening we visited a Beagle Story musical show followed by a pseudo Yamana Indian meal. It was quite well done and fun if you did not take it too seriously.
The next day we had a guided walk in the nearby national park and saw water birds of various sorts, including Upland geese, Kelp geese and Steamer ducks. The landscape reminded me of parts of Ireland or Scotland and we were shown the insectivorous sundew as one attraction. For the evening meal I ate some of the king crab which one could see in the shops.
Our final day in Patagonia was basically a free day for souvenir shopping, but I went on a Landrover trip along the shore of Lago Fagnano, the biggest lake, over 100km long, on Tierre del Fuego. Juan had recommended it. It was good fun as the young man driving was a bit of a joker and we also had an excellent barbeque. On my return I did more souvenir shopping and met the others directly for dinner in town at an excellent sea-food restaurant, Kau Pe, supposedly the second best in the whole of Argentina.