We arrived in Ushuaia ready for our adventure to begin, and Ushuaia, you did not disappoint! Ushuaia is the southern most city in the world, surrounded by mountains on one side and the Beagle Canal on the other. As soon as we touched down on the runway situated metres from the canal, with the backdrop of the snow capped mountains we knew we were in for a treat.
Knowing we only had one full day here we woke up extra early yesterday morning to squeeze everything we wanted to do in. We stayed in a charming guest house called Viento Del Sur and we were served a delicious breakfast which fuelled us for what was to come! Our first stop was Glacier Martial, where you can catch a chairlift up to the base or walk up. We of course chose to walk. We were the only people to be seen and no footprints to follow which was both daunting and exciting.
We searched and searched for a path but it was nowhere to be seen. We did spot a couple of benches that had been snowed over almost completely and we assumed (and found out after) that due to the large amounts of snow the paths had been covered. But despite this we were not heading back just yet. We decided the only way to go was up! In thick snow, we treaded our way up the mountain. Stages of it required crawling on our hands and knees, fighting the gravity pulling us down!
Now all we needed was a taxi to take us back to town. But none to be found, so we began our long trek down. Realising how long this was going to take us we resorted to other options. we were in luck and managed to hitch a ride with a lovely lady who happened to work at the tea shop.
We had no real expectations of the national park, no map and no real idea of what we were in for. We naively got dropped at the entrance to the park, a VERY long way away from the start of the trails. Luckily an Argentinian guy in a taxi stopped and offered us to jump in the taxi with him. Matias, thank you! You truly saved the day. It turns out there are several trails you can do, of various lengths and difficulties and with very different starting points. While some head inland, we decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and join Matias on the coastal trail.
And nothing could prepare us for what were about to see. The most tranquil place with absolutely breathtaking views!
After an awesome 10km walk we headed back to town, exhausted but very satisfied. We went straight to the supermarket, bought things to make dinner and retreated to the warmth of our hostel. A hearty meal and a bottle of red wine completed our perfect day!
A quick introduction to this section:
Those that know us will agree that Kel and I are quite different in personalities- Kel is the artistic, idealistic and carefree type, who loves spontaneity – Kel often likes to leave things to the very last minute – often resulting in moments of chaos, but somehow always managing to pull through. I on the other hand am a firm believer in logic, practicality and forward planning. I like things organised, and when I write, it is generally direct and to the point.
Luckily however, the two of us complement each other like steak and potatoes (or in Kel’s case sushi and soy sauce). We both share a common love for the outdoors, food and exercise, and we aren’t afraid to tell each other when they do something funny, impressive, annoying or disgusting!
Given we are sharing this adventure together, I feel like it is my obligation to add some cold hard facts, tips and things we have learnt, to the end of each of kels lovely, fluffy, and emotional recounts. The idea of this section will be to help provide a bit more info about the places we visit, as well as to provide a little bit of practical advice to those thinking of travelling to the same places. It’s not comprehensive, but just a few things to know before you get there without ruining the surprise!
So without further ado, I present my tips on Ushuaia:
– The weather changes extremely frequently So have lots of layers. I wore a long sleaved merino wool thermal, a polar fleece and a wind/rain thin outer jacket. And between these I was fine. The weather would move between sunshine, wind, rain and snow all in about 15 minutes.
– Pick a trail for Tierra Del Fuego before you go, and get dropped at the start of that trail. Also, enquire as to taxi or bus service from the end of the trail back to Ushuaia because these are not always so frequent. We were lucky as a mini bus stopped for us and let us buy a ticket on the bus (rather than from a travel agent)
– Travel agents are closed between 2.30pm and 5.30pm (and closed on Sundays) so make sure you book buses etc before or after.
– ATMs can run out of money! So always make sure you plan ahead and keep a couple of days cash in reserves. Also, one of our bank cards stopped working (I think our bank was suspicious of all the money beings drawn in Argentina) so having a second bank account as back up was a saver for us!
–Don’t expect people to speak English. Having at least a bit of Spanish is a must- it’s amazing how you can get by with just a few Spanish lessons at home under your belt (plus a travel companion who can speak a bit more!)
Anyway that’s all for now. Hasta Luego! (Until next time)
Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!