After changing our trip around, i suddenly realised that now they have changed our port of calls , today was the last chance we had to see Penguins, I know we saw them in the Galapagos but they are fun to watch, good news we managed to change, bad news it started at 6.15am!
I set the alarm for 5am, and breakfast at 5.30am we joined the rest of the people taking the trip, I thought it would be a small trip, how wrong could I be, there must be 300 of us. We piled into a huge catamaran, and left the port very quickly.
Ushuaia Patagonia is 3000km from Buenos Aries, and 1000km from the Antarctica Peninsular where we are going next.
The weather is very grey and dismal, which is a shame, as it is beautiful scenery, most people on the boat are asleep, they rush to get a window seat, then promptly snooze, leaving us trying to see out, between the snores, although you can go outside!
First stop was the colony of penguins, as we approached, they were swimming in the wake of the boat, they are so cute, they were all lined up on the beach, some were playing, others just watching, we saw one King penguin, and the rest were Magellan distinguished by there stripe around the neck, we watched them for ages, well worth the effort getting up early.
We then headed back, where we saw the last light-house in the world, the little Island was full with cormorants, jostling for position on the rocks. Later we discovered, actually it was not the last light-house, we saw plenty more as the day progressed.Further down we went to another Island where the sea-lions, and the seals were playing in the water, and on the rocks, they were good to watch also, this time Geoff and I managed to get front row view, so we took loads of pictures.
Ushuaia is a town of approximately 60,000, looks out over the Beagle channel. The 150 mile long body of water is named after the British ship HMS Beagle that sailed through here twice, the second time with Charles Darwin aboard! during missions of discovery in the 1800s. It was not the British Navy, however, rather the penal system of a recently independent Argentina that led to the growth and development if Ushuaia. From its humble beginnings Ushuaia is now the largest community in, and the gateway to, Argentina’s amazing Isla grande de Tierra del Fuego. We also found a notice stating that the British were illegally trespassing on the Falklands, but the notice had been destroyed, (I wonder who did that!) but the argentines have not relinquished its claim to these Islands they call Las Isles Malvinas. watch this space, especially if they find oil there!
We walked all around, they have lots of little shops, a leather one we spotted, Geoff couldn’t resist going in, (he has been after a leather jacket for ages) he tried several on, and finally purchased one, which is very nice, we then wondered around a bit more, we found the quirky museum which had a brilliant facade on the shop front, of prisoners trying to escape etc, then went to a café where we could do our emails, and catch up with the log.
Back on board we had a cuppa, then decided not to go to the restaurant, but eat on top deck at the cafe, less formal, we are both full up, so I had Chinese, and Geoff had cold meat and salad.
We watched the evening show, which was a classical pianist from Manchester, he was very good, and then we went back to our cabin and read, and fell asleep quite early, it has been a long day.
The captain announced that he was posting a picture of the weather chart! to show us the weather conditions we would have faced if we had continued on route! we can only assume his staff have had a lot of complaints of our change of plans! we will post the picture when we can! but have to admit! I would not want to experience those seas, the waves were over 9metres, and winds were over 70mile an hour.Uck!