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// FEBRUARY 2015
Patagonia. Lets go!
Buenos Aires
General Acha
San Carlos de Bariloche
Sarmiento
Rio Gallegos
El Chaltén
El Calafate
Puerto Natales
Punta Arenas
Ushuaia
Rio Gallegos
Comodoro Rivadavia
Puerto Madryn
Bahia Blanca
Buenos Aires
Esquel
Los Glaciares National Park
Torres del Paine National Park
Punta Delgada
Rio Grande
Puerto Pirámides
Punta Delgada
Valdes
Viedma

Ushuaia
 

17th of February 2015
It’s cold…too cold

We took the Ruta 9 on Chilean ground. We left it at the Governador Philip and we took the 255 which led us to the 256. This road was in parallel with the Strait of Magellan which connects the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean. Its length is approximately 580klm and its width 20-30klm. It took its name from the Portuguese seafarer Ferdinand Magellan who passed from there in 1520, trying the first circumnavigation of the globe. The Strait is the most significant natural passage in between the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean, but the circumnavigation is considered quite difficult, because the climate there is hostile and the passage too narrow, something that we would soon discover for ourselves. We were searching for Punta Delcada which is located at the narrowest part of the Strait that connects the island of the Tierra del Fuego with the mainland. From Punta Delcada we would cross with a ferry to Bahia Azul, at Terra Del Fuego.

The weather was similar to the one in the previous days. It was cold in the morning and then cloudiness was giving itself to sunshine, in turns. Rain was also expected, sometimes a drizzle, sometimes heavier. Most likely the climate is influenced by the nearness of the Pacific Ocean. On the other hand, the Andes, the Cordilliera,  is a natural barrier for the winds that come from the west, from the Pacific. As a result, the raining is more frequent there than it is to the near part of Argentina.

The climate in Terra Del Fuego, too, is cold and wet with all the characteristics of the Ocean climate


We will never reach there!!!

We arrive at Punta Delcada and we find a queue of cars which, accordingly to the jps, is about 450-500m away from the embarking point to the ferry boat.
 


People come and go, there are two queues, one with big lorries and another one with cars and nothing seems to be moving. Half an hour passes, and then an hour and then an hour and half. At some point, we ask a local, who has walked on foot towards the embarking point and now returns to his car which is behind ours, what’s going on. He informs us that there is only one ferry, the cars are too many and obviously one ferry is not enough. During all this waiting time we have moved only 20 to 30 meters.

« We are going to spend the bloody night, here ”, I am thinking. “ We will never reach there! »​

I go to the ferry terminal and try to find who I am going to talk to. I find a guy who is supposed to be a member of the Coast Guard. Nobody speaks English, of course, but I try to explain to the man that we are in a hurry. I pretend that we have to catch up an evening flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Ayres and then another one to Europe. They send me to the employee responsible of the ferry company. I find myself in front of a cool, relaxed and smiling guy (he could have perfectly been from Thesaloniki!!!) who is watching a video with the queue that has reached the length of… 5klm now, probably, and seems to be enjoying it! 

« I can’t do anything », he tells me. « They will… kill me out there! »

Well, after three hours of waiting and while I am still at the ferry terminal, another ferry appears, so the whole procedure seems to be accelerated quite considerably. Eventually, with only… 4,5 hours delay, we manage to get on the boat.
 


The weather, though, seems to be at its worst and the wind is menacing out there. Any time now, we will be probably given a prohibitive departure. Meanwhile, I have learnt from the employee that I was discussing with, that during the last two days it was not possible for the ferry to depart and that was the reason why so many cars were queuing today.


The one, who insists, wins eventually!

Eventually, with lots of efforts we managed to reach the other side and taking the route 257 we drove the last dirt road part in our journey, till San Sebastian at the Argentinean Borders.
There, we stopped first at a petrol station and then took the Ruta 3. Through Rio Grande, and passing also through the national park of Terra Del Fuego, we eventually arrived at Ushuaia.

Fortunately the first 30-35klm was done on asphalted road, but then we had to drive again on our good old dirt road.
 


We crossed Rio Grande, where at some point we found ourselves at a favela, while trying to find the exit towards Ushuaia
We arrived at Ushuaia late in the evening, around 10:30 to 11:00, while accordingly to our schedule we should have reached there around 19:00. It was freezing and we were totally exhausted.
As soon as we arrived at the Hotel Villa Brescia, we arranged immediately our next morning’s excursion to the Beagle Channel, since we were too tired and worried that probably we wouldn’t get up on time.
We didn’t really want to loose this excursion in case we would oversleep. After making these arrangements we went upstairs to our room.
It was the only night that we felt really cold.

 
18th of February
Everything is imperial at the end of the world!!!

After having our breakfast, we went to the dock.
Our little cruise started from the touristic port of Ushuaia, the “Don Eduardo Arturo Brisinghelli”. We embarked at a catamaran of the Tolkeyen Patagonia Tourismo Company to cross the Ushuaia Bay.
While the boat was leaving behind the shore, we enjoyed the beautiful view of the city, the magical landscape of the Beagle Channel and the mountains along its shores.
Afterwards we reached at the Isla de los Cormoranes, where we had the ideal chance to watch the imperial cormorants_ typical seabirds in this climatic zone_ to hunt fish by diving in the waters.
The catamaran passed from Isla de Lobos (Sea Lion Island) where we learnt more for the habits of this colony of sea lions.
Eventually, we reached one of the most representative symbols of journeys, the lighthouse Les Eclaireurs which in French means “enlightened” or “scouts”.
The lighthouse is also known_ although falsely_ as the “Lighthouse at The End of the World”_ a reference to Jules Vern’s novel.
The Lighthouse Eclaireurs may be not the Lighthouse at the far south end, but it is famous for its location and it is a landmark for the channel. After our visit to this famous symbol of travelers we returned to Ushuaia having now, also, the certificate of our visit to this far part of our planet.



During our cruise, we met a Brazilian couple and we took information about the journey to Brazil that we plan next…             

 

Country: Argentina
Date: 2015
Route: Patagonia
Cities: Buenos Aires, General Acha, San Carlos de Bariloche, Sarmiento, Rio Gallegos, El Chaltén, El Calafate, Puerto Natales , Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Rio Gallegos, Comodoro Rivadavia, Puerto Madryn, Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires
Duration: 15
Difficulty:
Population: 1.999.540
Rating:
comments
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comments
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Country: Argentina
Date: 2015
Route: Patagonia
Cities: Buenos Aires, General Acha, San Carlos de Bariloche, Sarmiento, Rio Gallegos, El Chaltén, El Calafate, Puerto Natales , Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Rio Gallegos, Comodoro Rivadavia, Puerto Madryn, Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires
Duration: 15
Difficulty:
Population: 1.999.540
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Argentina
Date: 2015
Route: Patagonia
Cities: Buenos Aires, General Acha, San Carlos de Bariloche, Sarmiento, Rio Gallegos, El Chaltén, El Calafate, Puerto Natales , Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Rio Gallegos, Comodoro Rivadavia, Puerto Madryn, Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires
Duration: 15 days
Difficulty:
Population: 1.999.540
Rating:
comments
VIEW