Back in Ushuaia we were still in “relaxing mood” and spent most of the time strolling around the city, cooking in the hostel and enjoying Argentinian and Chilean wines with varying hostel acquaintances.
On one of the days we visited the “Museo del Fin del Mundo” (the end of the world museum) which helped us understand more about the origins of Tierra del Fuego and its interesting history.
The museum is located in the old prison and it’s been left very much as it was, which gives a good sense of how it must have been back in the day. Besides the maritime exhibits one gets a lot of insight into the lives of the Fuegians, from the lives of the indigenous Jamana people through the penal colony to life in Ushuaia today. It’s surely well worth a visit.
Tierra del Fuego (Spanish for “Land of Fire”) is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of a main island, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego which is divided between Chile and Argentina and a group of many islands, including the famous “Cape Horn”.
The name Tierra del Fuego derives from the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, seeing the many fires of the Yaghan people along the coast. The fires must have been quite smokey because he gave the country the name “Land of Smoke” and only later the name was changed to “Land of Fire”.
No Europeans settled there until the second half of the 19th century, at the height of the sheep farming and gold rush booms. Today, petroleum extraction dominates economic activity in the north of Tierra del Fuego, while tourism, manufacturing, and Antarctic logistics are important in the south.
Good wines don’t have to be expensive, especially in Argentina and Chile. We bought these in the local supermarket and were pleasantly surprised:
On one of the other days we visited the beautiful “Parque National Tierra del Fuego”, which lies only 12 km west of Ushuaia. The whole park extends from the Beagle Channel in the south to beyond Lago Fagnano in the north and only a small part is accessible to the public.
Since it’s always nicer to hike in company we joined up with three young Israeli we had met in the hostel. It’s quite common for young Israeli to travel the world after finishing their military service and we met many traveling South America. We started our day-walk at the Ensenada bay:
And continued along the shoreline through beeches and forests:
A male and female Upland Goose (picture beneath this text!):
Our group of five from left to right: Tini, Andy, Mor, Dan and Shiran:
And some more impressions from along our walk:
We even spotted a sunbathing fox along the way:
In the afternoon we arrived at the Bahia Lapataia, which is also the end point of the famous Panamericana Highway. According to the signpost the distance to Alaska is 17.848 km!
Back in Ushuaia we went shopping a last time…
and enjoyed self-made hamburgers for dinner. Although they were delicious they didn’t quite keep up with Helmut’s burgers from the Weber grill! Probably the “best ever” combination would be Argentinian ground meat prepared by Helmut…
The next day we headed to the airport and left ever windy Ushuaia for a short stop in Buenos Aires on our way to Santiago.This entry was posted in South-America, WorldMap