2012.1.6I booked a tour to see Tierre del Fuego National Park on our second day at Ushuaia. Knowing that the scenery is not as dramatic as TDP, my wife preferred staying in in the city to do more shopping.
The guide met me at hotel at 8:30am, then he went around the city to pick up a family from Australia and two Argentines. Our first stop at the park was a railway station. Besides offering a steam locomotive tour, the station has a major theme of its prison history. The city of Ushuaia was first created mainly as a prison because of its remote location. At the first half of the 20th century, Argentine government expanded the town around the prison to increase its population and to enforce Argentine sovereignty at Tierre del Fuego. This is why posters and paints of prisoners can be seen everywhere in Ushuaia.
All of us were more interested in natural beauty so we skipped the locomotive tour and directly went into the park. The next stop was Ensenada Bay, we had a short walk on the coast of the Beagle Channel and the surrounding hills.
The tour took us to the Roca Lake. It’s located at the border between Argentina and Chile and offers one of the most beautiful views in the park. We walked along the lake to the visitor center. I got an opportunity to shot a group of Black-necked Swan.
Driving south, we made a brief stop at Green Lagoon to overlook the lake in the turquoise color and the trees damaged by the beavers.
The highlight and the final stop of the tour was Bahia Lapataia. The guide stopped the car at a trail head and let us walk over the hill. The trail leads to a parking lot that marks the end of National Route 3. This is the most southern end as far as the road runs.
We bumped into our co-passengers of the Antarctic cruise from time to time on the street of Ushuaia and we met many of them at the airport. It’s an interesting feeling that we came from all over the world, spent several days together in such a surreal place and now we would return to whoever we are. At the check-in counter, Aerolineas Argentinas told us the flight “is ONLY delayed by 50 minutes”. We would arrive in Buenos Aires at the midnight.