Monday, February 4, 2013

Tierra del Fuego National Park...............

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......... 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!

"Goodbye Argentina".

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!


  1. Love the hat!
    Glad you had a good time. Great pics.JJ

  2. Hello Mary:
    What a spectacular landscape. The way that the mountain peaks seem to sit right upon the sea is so wonderfully dramatic. It must have been a breathtaking sight to see it all at first hand.

    And, what fun to have had your passport stamped in the little hut!

  3. What an excellent adventure. I'm enjoying the beautiful scenery, Mary!


  4. How colorful everything is there! You got some amazing photos Mary.

  5. You look so chic in your hat! Love the photos, what an amazing place to visit.

  6. I feel like in looking at your pictures I am also embarking on this wonderful voyage. Oh the anticipation! Love taking in everyone of your photos.

  7. What an adventure you and Paula are sharing!
    I can just picture the two of you in years to come reminiscing about these wonderful trips!

    Your photographs are outstanding Mary - I feel I'm seeing these places with my own eyes!
    The world is certainly 'your oyster' - good for you.
    Shane ♥

  8. Even the post office looks so colourful Mary! Exceptional photos - just like I'm there.
    Love the new header photos - I have actually petted a penguin, they feel as sweet as they look ;o)
    Rose H

  9. Hi Mary! Beautiful photos so far. I don't know how you choose photos, from the many hundreds I'm sure you took, to share with us on your blog. What a trip it must have been. We are visiting our daughter and family in northern Alberta for a couple of weeks. There is lots of snow here and it keeps coming down. Thankfully the temperatures have warmed quite a bit from the -25 C and colder that they've had recently. It was -12 today - balmy for here. :) Hugs, Pamela

  10. Just come back from my 2 weeks in the States and I can't believe you were gone again!! I had the greaetst of time reading about you recent adventures...


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