Hiking: Ushuaia to Almanza – epilogue

The day after my arrival from Puerto Almanza I woke up with this dual feeling of being very happy to be in the comforts of home and meanwhile missing the fresh air and magical views that liberated my mind for these past few days. The latter definitely weighted heavier at that moment. To avoid feeling down, I immediately started cleaning the mess that seems to be the result of any camping trip. It was a bright day and I was happy to be able to open the door and window to let the cool air refresh my thoughts. I hang the tent out to dry (which I couldn’t the last morning of the hike), as well as the sleeping back to get some air and started washing clothes and cups and organizing camping stuff. It works as a sort of therapy. Once done, I had a well deserved hot cup of coffee out in the sun.

It was a beautiful day. From my self-created terrace in front of the department building I have an excellent view of the Beagle Channel. From high above I can see the Eclaireurs lighthouse (that is, if lit by the sun), I can see ships coming in and tour boats cruising the islands and I can see the coast line road heading to Los Escarpados and the Chilean Isla Navarino just in front of Ushuaia. The view is spectacular, with exception of those typical Ushuaia grey days, when there’s no view at all.

Still with last days’ trek on my mind, I watched the channel while drinking my coffee. On a clear and calm day as today, it would be great to watch the coastline where I hiked, but this time from the water. That afternoon I hop on the catamaran that takes a tour to Isla Martillo, the penguin island, further up on the channel from Almanza.

The sun shines brightly and Ushuaia’s mountain skyline is drawn sharply against the blue sky, dotted with interesting cloud formations. The Beagle channel lies flat in front of us. It’s one of those exceptional beautiful days, of which we only have a few here down south. In fact, so far these last few autumn days have been better than most summer days. Some say this year summer never arrived. It’s 15 degrees C., no wind, a beautiful day to explore the Beagle Channel’s coastline.

The catamaran visits a few of the islands on its way to see the penguins, offering us a close up of cormorants and lion seals. The views of the city, the channel, the mountains, islands and its inhabitants are amazing. However, my focus for today is to follow the tracks of this week’s coastal trekking. As hoped, the fair weather makes for excellent views of the coastline, and even though at quite a distance still I get a pretty detailed view of where I hiked. Needless to say that the views are totally different. From the sea the beautiful mountains that line the coastline are even more impressive, with reddish trees climbing up the walls. I can distinguish the rivers that I crossed, the estancias Tunel, Punta Segunda and Remolinos, the beacons that I saw on the way and even the beaches where I set camp for the night. Happy now and very satisfied that I finally made this trekking, I take many pictures to add to the ones taken during the trek. They definitely complete my story.

Beagle Channel - eastern view - lighthouse - panorama

Les Eclaireurs lighthouse welcoming guiding ships on the Beagle channel

Hiking in a landscape of rolling hills, steppe vegetation, long beaches and blue sea

Hiking in a landscape of rolling hills, steppe vegetation, long beaches and blue sea

Andes mountains

Foothills of the Andes mountains

Coastal view

A beacon, lonely antenna and a deserted shelter 

Cliff and Monte Cervantes ship at estancia Remolinos

Cliff and Monte Cervantes ship at estancia Remolinos

Tierra del Fuego's wild coastline

Tierra del Fuego’s wild coastline


On the way back from the penguins – which is another story – it’s getting dark soon. The sky over the eastern outlet of the Beagle Channel is still clear, but in our direction it’s gotten cloudy. When passing Puerto Almanza, the sky above Ushuaia breaks open and the sun shines through. It’s the first time I see the dark sea in a warm, golden light. A truly splendid view. Looking back, I just catch the sunset on the cliffs behind us. I’m sure most people missed it, being impressed by the golden sunset in front of us. It’s truly breathtaking.

A magical golden sunset... rays of sunshine

A magical golden sunset… rays of sunshine

 

 

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