High Summer at 'the end of the world' but still snow on the highest peaks. Early morning in Ushuaia, Argentina on the Beagle Channel. Everywhere the lupines thrived en masse - one of my favorite English garden blooms.........
.......as we drove out on the excursion to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Created in 1960 in the Southwest of the province up against the border with neighboring Chile, it protects 63,000 hectares of the southern tip of the Andes.
Beautiful Bahia Ensenada. Somewhat chilly and windy during our Summertime visit - we required those layers and hats again!
Here, at a small government post office/souvenir shop we were able to get our passports stamped for Tierra del Fuego. This name, meaning 'land of fire', was given by Spanish explorers when Europeans told of the burning camp fires of the Yamana people along the tip of South America.
Along the shoreline, the Yamana people made their homes in middens - dome-shaped huts above the beach. They harvested the lake's resources, mainly sea-lions and mussels, moving around in canoes made from laths and sheets of bark. The only clothing they wore appeared to be short cloaks of sea-lion pelts.
Sadly, the extinction of these people is connected with the arrival of the first Europeans in 1890, and the main cause of the disappearance of these cultures seems to have been disease. However, there are various chronicles that they were hunted down by explorers and poisoned by colonists and sealers in order to have easy access to sea-lion colonies. Statistics show that of the 3000 Yamanas living at the arrival of the Europeans, there were only 100 remaining in 1910.
Paula and me enjoying lovely Lake Roca in Tierra del Fuego. Fifty years of friendship have taken us to many special places on this amazing planet!
Later that day, the group embarkation on M/S Expedition took place at 4 PM. Time was spent settling into the spacious cabin, unpacking, participating in the mandatory life safety drills, getting to meet our 134 fellow passengers, some visible in the pic below, and awaiting the ship's horn and the beginning of our adventure to the seventh continent.
Passengers from 13 countries................
Zodiacs for exciting shore excursions, lifeboats thankfully not required!
At 5 PM we sailed - heading through the smooth water of the Beagle Channel.
Next time: Making passage east toward The Falkland Islands - a little bit of Britain in the middle of the ocean!