Day 32, 07.11.2018, Ushuaia, Argentina,
Ushuaia is a former penal colony for Argentina on the Beagle Channel and is a place about as remote and desolate as it gets. This trip includes a few former people-dumping grounds. Madeira and Cape Verde (Portugal), New Caledonia (France) and Australia (UK) also share this fabulous honour. Arguably Robinson Crusoe Island should also be on the list.
We arrived late yesterday evening so had a rare night on the tiles. After a tedious bit of T-shirt buying in the Hard Rock Cafe shop (I get no say in this) we went to the popular Dublin Irish bar which was so popular it was impossible to move. Worse, they had no Guinness! Fortunately there is no shortage of this type of place in Ushuaia so we moved on to the venerable Bar Ideal and had some King Crab and Argie wine.
This morning was mostly walking the streets and shopping. I was issued with a list: a plush penguin and a gold penguin necklace. Mission accomplished. The necklace is a gold penguin with a rhodochrosite belly. Everyone will know that rhodochrosite is a pink manganese carbonate mineral and the national gemstone of Argentina. I’m calling it an early Christmas present.
I added some Fernet Branca to the shopping list. It’s an extremely popular digestif in Argentina and is virtually the national drink but I had never tried it. I can report that it’s horrible.
In the evening we were back sailing the Beagle Channel with snowy mountains on both sides. We watched the glaciers of Glacier Alley roll past while eating a six-course seafood dinner. The windows were a bit crusty from salt spray but it was too cold and windy to be on deck. A lot of scenery went by unseen after dark.
Day 33, 08.11.2018, Parque Nacional Alberto de Agostini & Punta Arenas, Chile,
The morning light came while we were exiting the northern end of the Cockburn Channel and into the Strait of Magellan. We arrived at Punta Arenas by late morning but the port was closed due to high winds. We hung around outside the port for a while as departing and arriving crew were transferred between ship and shore by pilot boat but by midday we were back sailing south and west to the Pacific. Hopefully the chaps on the bridge can work out a route that takes us past some other glaciers in daylight on the way to Puerto Montt.
Spectacular views and even the occasional whale but its freezing cold.