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Day 22- Sailing down the Beagle Channel
Today we head back to the harbor and board our Rumbo Sur catamaran for our trip down the Beagle Channel to Estancia Harberton. The Estancia has existed since 1886 and is a part of the long missionary history of the area.
The flowers in Ushuaia are amazing.
The lupin are set off by the bright blue sky as we wait for our morning ride. Normally Ushuaia is windy, cold and rainy. We have hit it on two warm, bright sunny days. Very lucky.
As the catamaran leaves the harbor, we see wildlife throughout the bay. Like these Upland Geese on an island we pass.
Nesting Rock Cormorants...
Part of a very large colony...
And then there's the iconic Ushuaia lighthouse.
Down the Beagle, we pass the Chilean Puerto Williams. Much smaller than Ushuaia, this also is recognized by some as the most southern city in the world. It is an important base for the Chilean navy, with a tower at the right. That is the undisputed location of the southern most bar in the world. The green building on the left is the local church.
Next we stop at Isla Martillo, a large Megellanic Penguin Colony in the Beagle.
This is how most visitors see the penguin colonies down here. We feel very fortunate to have had a very different experience.
The Megellanic penguins still put on a show, even if they do have to dodge big boats on their beach.
We finally arrive at Estancia Harberton. It's lovely now, but it is hard to believe a missionary raised a family way out here in the late 1800's.
It caters to tourists now.
Both by water and by land. You can rent a room, camp or have a meal here.
And it is the home of Museo Acatushun, a renown research facility for marine life and birds found in the area. The director, Rae Natalie Prosser Goodall began the collections and studies in 1976 by claiming dead specimens on the beaches. She would bring them home and boil them to clean the bones. Her house was known for its horrible smells back then.
It is now a first class facility, with great exhibits inside and out.
We drive back to Ushuaia though the foothills of the Andes.
We stop by a gentle waterfall, complete with rainbow.
And get another, unobstructed, view of Mt. Olivia from the back side.
Back in Ushuaia, we wander down town for dinner with the church bells ringing.
Our last find in Ushuaia is a troll garden at our B+B. Now we know why we have had such a magical trip. These little guys have been a good omen for us from Iceland to Switzerland--in fact on almost all our trips. We just have to keep watch for them.
We'll begin our trip home tomorrow. We have two more legs...a stop in Buenos Aries, then out to a gaucho ranch in Patagonia.
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