Ushuaia is the most southern city of this size in the world. For some it is the end of the world for others the starting point to an expedition to Antarctica. For us it was a completely new experience and we didn’t really know what to expect before we came here.
When you drive all the way down from Buenos Aires you ask yourself after more than 3000 km if the landscape will ever change. This is clearly not what we expected from the end of the world. Finally, within 150 km of Ushuaia it started to change. Dramatically like the weather down here the scenery changed from the savanna and primarily flat landscape suddenly into a landscape with high mountains and forests shaped by the wind. The heavy rain and strong wind did the rest to really make you feel you have arrived at the end of the world. On our way back north we took the pictures below. Add heavy wind, twilight and strong rain and you might be able to imagine how we experienced this fantastic scenery the first time.
The city itself has changed dramatically in the last 15 years apparently. Nothing is left from its charm if there was any. Only the spectacular setting directly at the Beagle Channel with the snowy mountains in the back. Breathtaking on a sunny day.
We finally made it. Yes, we are in Ushuaia, the end of the world.
The sign says 3040 km but we drove more than 4000 km up to this point.
From here many people take one of the cruise ships to Antarctica.
Ushuaia has changed dramatically and only a few old houses are left.
The great scenery, however, stays the same.
5 - 5
On the next day we go on a harbor cruise with the weather being slightly better but still not too much sunshine. We choose Tres Marias the only operator with a sailing ship for a four hour trip across a few little islands. On the one named “H” we stop for an hour walk.
The captain does a fantastic job explaining the vegetation and wild life to us. Pretty amazing that you find mountain like fauna on a small island on sea level. No, it really does not look very spectacular but what looks like a stone with some plants is actually a big plant itself. Growing less than one millimeter a year and usually found only at high altitude. Here the conditions at sea level however match the ones at high altitudes and allows for them to grow.
A bit more spectacular was how close we could get to the nesting places of a Cormorant colony on this small island. Interesting to note that even here a kind of hierarchy seems to exist. The ones sitting higher up on the cliffs shit on the ones below them ... ;-)
While we saw a lot of sea lions on our trip already we never saw a male. Passing a small island with lots of sea lions they also have a few males. Posing into the camera as they have never done anything else in their life. Their size is pretty impressive.
With Tres Marias we go on a sailing trip.
This plant grows only one millimeter per year and usually only at high altitude.
There is also a Cormorant colony we visit on the small island.
Karin standing between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.
A male sea lion posing for us. First time we see one that close.
5 - 5
We didn’t spend too much time in Ushuaia itself and instead moved on to the national park Tierra Del Fuego only 12 km away. Nature is much more spectacular than any city!