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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Argentina - 18 January, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Rugby Campsite, Ushuaia S5449.728' W06821.587' 10 m
Ushuaia . . . 5 km
Boat trip into the Beagle Channel S5452.200' W06804.869' 2 m 50 km (by boat)
Ushuaia . . . .
Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego . . . .
-  Bahia La Pataia (end of the Pan-American Highway) S5451.334' W06834.378' 5 m .
Finish Rugby Campsite, Ushuaia S5449.728' W06821.587' 10 m 50 km (by mini-bus)

Leg 2 Total:

4,850 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

14,521 km

 

Weather: Partly cloudy, occasional sun, breezy and cool.  In the afternoon it was cloudy and cool, with the occasional drizzle.

 

 

We will do our outdoor activities in Ushuaia today.  After breakfast at the truck, we head into town to the pier.  We hop on the boat Barracuda for a cruise out into the Beagle Channel.  The weather is not too bad - just a little cold in the wind.

 

Argentina02_Ushuaia1_Boat5_4313_Web.jpg (182249 bytes)

The cruise takes about 3 hours and we stop at a few islands where we can watch the sea lions and birds.  The boat would pull right up to the rocks, so we could get a close look.  We could see the head male in charge of his harem and young pups.  He would keep away all challengers with loud barking and charges (and bites if required).  There were also the bachelor colonies, where the single males would prepare for their attempt to take over a harem.  It was fun seeing them leap into the sea.

 

Argentina02_Ushuaia1_Boat7_4315_Web.jpg (68378 bytes)

We turned around when we reached the lighthouse on an island in the middle of the channel.  It was all very beautiful.  The boat then headed back to the dock.  We returned to Ushuaia and spent an hour and a half wandering around changing money (we are able to get 1.8 Pesos per dollar), having lunch and just checking out the town.

 

At 2 PM we meet the truck and the tour guide that will take us to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego.  We spend about 5 hours in the park, going to various locations.  The first one is to a small post office, where we can buy postcards and stamps to send announcing that we have reached the end of the World.  Then onto a small lake, where we take a short walk to see the plants.  Next is the beaver dam.  Many years ago in the 1940's, beavers were introduced from Canada - they thought it would be good for the fur trade.  Well, the beavers adapted and did not grow lots of fur, but they have made a big mess of the park.  They eat and drown the endangered trees.  A dozen beavers has turned into over 30,000 of them.  They are trying to get rid of them, but they will not kill them.

 

Argentina02_Ushuaia1_Park1_Dam_4316_Web.jpg (140407 bytes)

Anyway, they have left one beaver dam as a tourist attraction.  It is an amazing site.  Just one beaver family created a huge dam with a gigantic pond.  It was an unbelievable sight.  We were also able to see one of the beavers - swimming and also chewing on a log.  He was huge - apparently the beavers here grow much bigger than their cousins back in Canada - no enemies and great environment.  The other introduced animal that is causing havoc is the rabbit.  We do see some native animals, including the Upland Goose - a great sight seeing the couple with a couple of young chicks.

 

Argentina02_Ushuaia1_Park2_RoadEnd_4317_Web.jpg (64481 bytes)

We then finally get to our goal - the end of the world (or at least as far as you can go driving).  We reach Bahia La Pataia - the end of the Pan-American Highway.  It is only 17,848 kilometers to Anchorage in Alaska.

 

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We, of course, take the obligatory pictures, including a group picture, at the obligatory sign.  Then we head back to the campsite.

 

It is a quiet evening.  We spend most of it working on our journals.

 

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