Getting to Ushuaia was a grueling day but perhaps partially due to the struggle, it was incredibly rewarding. When the glow of the setting sun lit up the enormous cliffs along the roadside, it really set the scene for what an amazing place this is. Prior to arrival, we were polled about our desire to do a boat tour to see penguins and as far as I could see everyone was game and I enthusiastically agreed to join, so our plans for the first morning in Ushuaia were cast.
We arrived at our Hotel late at night, just as the sun was setting and I was pumped. Our dinner was waiting for us, as were refreshments and we all indulged immediately. The topic of music came up and I was happy to find some musical kindred spirits in Arlette and Elias. Not only did they know who John Prine was, they knew his songs and I busted out my ukulele and sang a few songs in the lobby.
Eventually fatigue caught up with me and I headed to bed and the next morning we set out on the boat tour. I almost immediately regretted going along with the boat tour as it trapped me for 5 hours in one spot just for the purpose of a staged photo opportunity with penguins in the wild. I had already seen a penguin in the wild dive in front of the ferry as we crossed the Strait of Magellan. A much better use of my time was visible to me from the boat as we cruised up the shoreline of the Beagle Channel (named after Darwin's ship as he voyaged around the horn). I wanted to cruise that shoreline on the bike.
The city of Ushuaia, Argentina at the tip of South America. Nestled in the mountains. There are 180,000 people living here. I would have loved to have spent some more time here. I saw a car towing a motocross bike so somewhere, there was bound to be some great terrain.
The waterfront with the amazing mountains in the background
Ushuaia is a shipping hub. All over the city you can see shipping containers.
Looking across the Beagle Channel at a mountain range on an island in Chile
As we came into Ushuaia the night before, this mountain was lit up by the setting sun as the road curved around it. It was sublime. Looking at it from this angle the following morning with its peak in the clouds was also striking.
More shipping containers and the mountains in behind.
Our tour boat pointed at the shoreline of the city. Shipping containers everywhere but the road into the city didn't seem all that busy. They must all come and go by water.
Chuck and Ono enjoying the scenery
Arlette and Elias on the boat tour
Rocks painted by the birds
There is a famous lighthouse that guides ships into the Beagle Channel. It is know as the lighthouse at the end of the world. This is not that light house, but it's close and those are cormorants not penguins.
Dylan on the left was on the media team. Orlin from Bulgaria on the right.
Tom Medema enjoying the boat tour.
These are penguins
The tour boats visit this island every day.
After the boat tour and a long rest and afternoon nap, Chuck and I went for a tour on the bikes.
Chuck wanted to get the gopro footage that he missed the night before so we went back up the road the way we came in. We also wanted to do a little bit of off-road riding and we found some trails. They were decent trails too and if we weren't so strapped for time we would have kept exploring. We did get bogged down in the mud in a few places which is always fun.
My bike after a bit of trail riding near Ushuaia
We made a pretty good mess of the bikes so we found a "Splash 'n Dash" car wash and made the bikes look like new again.
Chuck getting at the hard-to-reach places.
When I see this photo, my Catholic upbringing comes to mind and all I can think is "One of you will betray me." This is a fancy restaurant at the top of hill overlooking the city and the Beagle Channel. The dining in Patagonia was excellent.