The Final Leg - February 8-9, 2005 The morning came early and it was time for us to depart the Le Diamant. The light peaked over the horizon and lit up the mountains near Ushuaia. Today was my lucky day as I had planned to just go into town and figure out what to do. However, my newly found British friends insisted I take a tour bus with them since they had a couple of extra already paid for seats. How could I turn them down :)
The scenic drive to first stop was to be Terra del Fuego National Park (meaning Land of the Fire) which was founded in 1960 and is the southernmost example of the Andean Patagonian forest. It is located not far from the city of Ushuaia and has two large lakes in the park - Fagnano and Roca lakes. The national park has dramatic scenery, with several waterfalls, lush dense forests, majestic mountains and glaciers.
Much of the area shows the impact of beavers which were introduced to the area and have caused serious damage some places. We took the tour bus to Lake Fagnano,the largest water body in Tierra del Fuego. We then took a hike along the wooded path to Lookout Point which rewarded us with panoramic views out into Fagnano lake which were a quite a treat after seeing nothing but shades of white, black and grey for the past few weeks. After hiking we went down to La Confiteria, the place where the tour bus dropped us off. It is a small lakeside cafe selling snacks and has a small kitchen for food.
Then we made our way over to Lake Roca which opens into the Lapataia Bay on the southern coast. This area is a popular point for hiking and boating out to the islands. Once arriving at La Roca we boarded zodiac boats and set out on the Beagle Channel to Isla Redonda which is a National Reserve that has only recently opened to tourism. Here we enjoyed scenic views of the surrounding wind swept landscape. We took a trail and hiked across the island where we were able to observe the Magellan Cormorants that nest in the area. We then boarded the zodiacs again that took us off towards Bahia Lapatia, the southern end of the world and its pristine serenity. Here is where the endpoint (or beginning point) of Route 3 is, which is the final leg of the Pan American highway that takes one all the way to Alaska, 13848 km. away. There is a nice boardwalk here that takes you out to the bay providing breath taking views of the Beagle Channel and the distant snow capped Andes mountains in Chile. A caracara was spotted on the shoreline getting a drink... and so ends a trip of a lifetime. Tomorrow I would board Aerolineas Argentinas for the 3.5 hour flight to Buenos Aires and then on back to Texas on a 12 hour flight to Dallas. COMMENT: It was fun reliving this trip during my week off from work. I actually set this blog up many years ago just to document my trip to Antarctica but just wasn’t able to do so at the time. Now it is time to return to work… for the time being.
Some have wondered about my avatar that I chose to represent me. It was this trip that I saw that iceberg and it was a sight of a lifetime on a trip of a lifetime. It was this berg that encouraged me to find more adventures… and so I part with it…