Southern most city in the world

Trip Start Feb 23, 2008
Trip End Apr 28, 2008

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Still a little jetlagged but improving. Ushuaia is an interesting city. The population sky rockets during the summer months due to the booming tourist industry. Here is probably the greatest concentration of English speaking Argentine. The city is very picturesque. Majestic ice capped mountains on one side and the Beagle Channel on the other. The main street of Ushuaia is filled with endless Duty-free shops, lots of hotels, hostels, internet cafe, resturants and amazing chocolate shops Mmmm chocolate....

I have booked myself into Pueblo Viejo. It is a very cosy accomodation. Not in the centre of town but close enough to walk. It is close to most of the museums, I managed to visit the Museum of Yamana Aboriginals, Museum of Fin del Mundo (End of the world) and Maritime Museum of Ushuaia which is sited at the old prisons.

I have prebook a few tours from Canal Fun. It was their funky website with great photos that sold me. I am very impressed with the company. The standard of the tour guides has been fantastic. One guide spoke Spanish, French and English! I understand this company is on the more expansive range but as I had nothing to compare and had I great time so there is nothing really to complain about.

On Monday, I went on the Gable Island Tour. We drove through scenic area outside of Ushuaia, the scenery is reminiscence of Scandinavia and South Island of New Zealand. Not surprisingly as those are the same area that has been shaped by glaciers during the last ice age. We went canoeing down a river taking in the sheer isolation and the serenity before heading for lunch on board of a boat heading to see some penguins.
When we arrived to see the penguins we were astonished to see hundreds if not thousands of them just standing on the beach. As our boat get closer they all just stood there. Some Zodiac got so close that people are taking photos within 1 metre from the nearest penguin.  

I saw 3 different species of penguin there. Most of them are the Magellanic penguins, there were a handful of the Gentoo penguins but we spotted a single Rockhopper penguin which normally inhabit the Falkland Islands. According to the tour guide King penguins also has been sighted on this island and they normally inhibit the South Georgia Island. Boy I wish I will see some King or Emperor penguins in Antarctica.
After a behaving like a bunch of paparazzi with the penguins we took off a hike amongst the hills. We came across a breaver dam and an abandoned breaver lodge. Breavers are introduced to the region for their fur but like all introduced spieces they have caused severe damage to the environment.

On Tuesday I went on the Lakes Off Road Tour. This is the original tour Canal Fun offered when the company first started. We went in 3 Land Rovers and travelled through some amazing terran. We drove to Lake Fagnano which is approximately 100km long and 4 km wide. The trip ended with a short hike along the lake.


On Wednesday I went to Tierra del Fuego National Park. More bush walking and discovering more about the sub Antarctic ecosystem. A bunch of chimango caracaras join us for lunch and they are not camera shy!

Tomorrow I will be boarding my cruise to Antarctica. How exciting!
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Where I stayed
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