The main leg of our trip was one adventure after another, most of them involving large amounts of ice and gale-force winds. We started in Ushwaia, the southernmost city in the world except for the one in Chile that they don't like to talk about. Boasting the world's southernmost ski slopes and golf course, it's very.....southerly. It is near Tierra del Fuego National Park and is the departure point for cruises to Cape Horn and the Beagle Passage (i.e., our ship) and to Antarctica. We boarded our ship there and set sail for Cape Horn. There's something profoundly satisfying at standing atop this desolate rock at the end of the world. Cape Horn hosts what amounts to a "Yep, You Are Here" monument, and is close to beautiful Wulaia Bay, one of Darwin's stops, where we hiked up the hillside for the spectacular view.
From there we traversed the Beagle Passage, a.k.a. Glacier Alley, where we saw.... lots and lots of ice. Blue and eye-poppingly beautiful, we plied the fjords in a Zodiac and saw lots of calving events, as building-sized chunks of ice fell into the sea before us. Our last stop in the passage was Magdalena Island, home to the Magellanic penguins, thousands of them braying and mating and burrowing and waddling around and being generally adorable.
Our final Patagonian destinations were the towns of Punta Arenas (home town of our trip lead, as it happened); Chile's Glacier National Park, home to the gigantic Perito Moreno Glacier; and Torres del Paine National Park in Argentina, sprawling and windy.
As on the other pages, you may click on either the titles or the thumbnails to get to the respective photo albums and videos.
|Ushwaia and Tierra del Fuego National Park (Argentina). Mountains, lakes, and the most grotesque collection of roadside shrines anywhere. Includes photos of a home to visit to a local resident.|
|Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay. Darwin was here, and now so were we.|
|Glacier Alley (Beagle Passage). Ice, ice, baby.|
|Penguins on Magdalena Island. Where do find a tailor that makes 16" tuxedos?|
|Southern Chile and Argentina National Parks. Chicago isn't the Windy City, this place is: Chicago doesn't need to put rope handrails at traffic crossings to keep pedestrians from getting blown into traffic. Photos of Punta Arenas, Perito Moreno Glacier, and Torres del Paine National Park.|
|Cape Horn Panorama. Bottom of the world, Ma!||Piloto Glacier. Too narrow quarters for theship, we pull a Shackelton and bull through the ice-clogged in our Zodiacs to get close to the glacier.|
|Pia Glacier. Watch it through to the end to see a 200' chunk of ice fall into the sea!||
Perito Moreno Glacier.
3 miles wide and 200' high at the face, it's hard t appreciate the scale.
But here's a video panorama to give you an idea.
|Garibaldi Glacier. Our ship approaches the face of the glacier.||
Torres del Paine
National Park. 17 of us struggling through a 57 MPH wind.