10 December 2014

Kickin' it in Ushuaia

Antarctica is Antarctica. You never really can tell what will happen, whether you go with plan A or Z, flexibility is key. We had all of those plans taken from us because there was an accident at on the runway that we use for our operation. It had nothing to do with our operation apart from the fact that it closed our link to take on and send off our new and old passengers. Here is the Hercules that lost its landing gear and ended up blocking the runway for a few days.. No good at all. But there was a silver lining and it wasn't just the copious amounts of meat consumed.

A very sad plane. No one was hurt which was a very good thing.

Any way, you always have to make the best out of any situation. We finished our second trip as planned back in Ushuaia and then were on standby for 10 days with the ship anchores 1.5 miles out in the bay. None of us had ever spent any real time in the area, just hours or a day here and there in port so we went exploring. The best/worst thing about being out there is that a zidiac was required to get to and fro town.
You can see the baby little ship in the background.

It was one of the boys birthdays so the first thing we explored were the bars of Ushuaia. What a tour that was. Two bars in total were visited...

Next up we went to the local park by bike. Terra Del Fuego Paque Nacinales. 

Way bigger day than expected (60km or something) but a pretty sweet way to see the area. Bikes were provided by one of the passengers from our last voyage for free which was even better!

Next we got our hike on. 

All of the information givers in town said it was to hard to do alone, you need a guide.. We thought fuck that. We rolled the dice and took a taxi to where we knew the trail head was and found signs for Africa. Dream scenario!

Beaver Damnnn

The area has been invaded with beavers from Canada and from about 30 of them in 1946 there are now about 80,000 of the little guys. This is a bit of a look at the difference they make to the landscape. Those are all dead Beech Trees that don't like their feet sitting in water so they died.

Big Beavers at Laguna Esmeralda!

Mike and I thought we should get a better look and can't sit still for more than five minutes. So we followed this creek up. This is a double but crack!
And here is the view.

The next day we went for another adventure. A little closer to town we went for another taxi ride to a little less known area De Los Tempanos. This was to some glaciers and again was amazing bang for your buck. Lucky for us there were some nice Gsuchos (cowboys I guess) at the road end who were collecting horses for a rodeo in town the next day. So not only did we get some must needed beta on where we were going but we also got invited to a cool local event.

Here is a beautiful hanging valley and the Doctor making his way up the scree.

And the next day we went to the rodeo which was a pretty cool experience.

 The locals were all kickin' it because they had a public holiday the next day and we got to watch some wild horses kick ass. Also saw the biggest BBQ of my life. South Americans win when it comes to BBQ's...
Yes, that is a whole cow.

And for now, it is goodbye to civilization for a month as we leave port and head down to the Antarctic for another month to see what it has to offer us this time.

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