From Torres del Paine, the next stop of my Patagonian adventure was to Ushuaia – the southernmost city in the world.
The journey from Torres del Paine to Ushuaia involved a very long day of travelling. It started with a bus to Puerto Natales, another bus to Puntas Arenas, a ferry/barge trip across the Beagle Channel and then another bus to Ushuaia. Let’s just say that there was lots of time to spend reading, ruminating, listening to music and sleeping on that journey.
As we arrived in Ushuaia late into the night, it was straight to our lodge before getting a bite to eat nearby. The following day a couple of friends I had made on the trip and I decided to venture to Tierra del Fuego National Park and walk to the ‘end of the world’. We made an obligatory stop at the post office inside the national park and got our passports stamped (best souvenir ever!) by the guy who has also made stickers of himself stamping a passport, in which he also affixed to a page in our passports.
As we arrived at the national park bright and early (from memory, I think we arrived around 8am), there was nobody else around but the four of us. We were in the most southern tip of the Americas with nobody else around. It was quite magical.
The walk we did was around 19km long. Terrain was quite easy on the legs (no real steep climbs) and tracks/paths were quite well marked so we didn’t have any issues getting around on our own.
As we got to the ‘end of the road’, we approached a very underwhelming sign. I’m not too sure what I was expecting, but I definitely had a bit more in mind than what we saw. Anticlimax.
From the ‘end of the world’, we hopped back on a bus from the national park which took us back to the centre of Ushuaia. With the afternoon clear and free and after a bite to eat, we decided to venture up to Martial Glacier. We’d been told that the views over the city were magnificent from up there, and the fact that there was also a glacier up there was something that I was excited about on its own.
While the hike up to Martial Glacier was much shorter than what we had walked earlier that day, it was definitely a lot steeper and tougher on the legs. It was also much windier and colder up on that hill. My windbreaker pants and jacket were my best friends that afternoon.
While conditions were some of the harshest we’d had on that trip (incredibly bone-chilling, gale force winds) that afternoon, it also meant that there were also chances of snow! And we were very lucky to have witnessed very light snow on our walk down. The feeling of it in my hair and on tip of my tongue was one of those magical moments that I was just unbelievably happy to savour and enjoy. This kinda moment is what life was about.