4. DAY OF PATAGONIA TRIP - to the end of the world, Ushuaia
Welcome to the last post of Patagonia!
If you got here, it's because you're enjoying our adventure at the End of the World. We arrived in Ushuaia on the eighth day and it was a crazy experience! I spent my birthday crossing the roads. We started traveling at 2 in the morning and stopped at 11 at night. It was exhausting but also fun.
We spent five days in Ushuaia, and I still did a stopover in Buenos Aires before to come back to Brazil, which I will tell about my little mission to find a way to sleep in that city!
But, now, let's go enjoy this city where I got my STAMP of the end of the world?
The saga: 20 hours of travel to the End of the World
I can sleep in a luxury bed or in a camping tent, I don’t care. I often venture into programs at the moment and rarely plan more than half the trip. With the passing of the days, I take advantage of the best opportunities that appear. I was never really scared or afraid of anything. I always feel safe by the power of the Universe. But what scared me the most on this trip was the number of borders we need to cross to go from El Calafate to Ushuaia. We took a bus trip of about 22 hours because an international meeting of governments closed the airports in Argentina. It was unlucky. But we live the experience differently, traveling about 800 km. It was a crazy, frozen trip for my birthday. We returned from El Chaltén to Calafate to catch the bus to Ushuaia. But you can do it by plane!
Around midnight, the cars stopped on the road, drizzling and in cold weather, to sing happy birthday to me. It was a beautiful moment that I will always continue in my heart.
I spent all day on a bus with over 29 people from different parts of the world, up and down the borders. In fact, I could see the discrepancy between the rules for entering Argentina and Chile. Chile has more limitations. It's amazing how many stamps you can get on this trip in your passport. And I was going to the end of the world. Finally!
To cross the Strait of Magellan, the bus must enter a raft. It is the largest and most important stretch of the natural passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The wind is very strong, it is good to be aware of sleep to get off the bus.
The boat: ride on the Beagle Channel and the Sea Wolves
We are close to the Antarctic. During the boat ride with the company Che Ushuaia, incredible by the way, I tried to focus on my sensations in some moments, in vain, there is no response in the vastness. Questions bring reflections that determine our steps. Feelings mix with the cold wind, numb you with the icy landscape.
How can a place be so powerful while we feel so fragile?
Far, we can be a part of what we've ever wanted to be, but somehow things or people distract us from being. There, at the end of the world, we feel that meaning makes no difference, what matters is to feel the pleasure of being alive daily and be thankful all the time. Everything is impermanent and unpredictable. Then the senses got lost fast. I don’t lose time looking for waste. I'm meeting on the way.
After to seeing sea waves, we went down on an island to see the local vegetation and also ate a type of flower. It’s very typical from the place! The sea lions are very cutes, they drag the stones and pass under the others. But the truth is that when the boat approaches it has an unpleasant smell. But I loved to see up close. The boat trip has everything included. Beer, cheese, wine, ham, fruit, juice, coffee... We danced, talked, it was a bit of relaxation after trekking a lot. That day, while leaving the boat, we made a flash mob with the song "Tuna". It was pretty funny. From there we proceed to stamp our passports with the seal of the End of the World! I could hardly believe it! Do you want to have one of this?
The beach of Patagonia: Emerald Lagoon
We went from van to the entrance of the trail, which is outside the urban perimeter. The beginning of the trekking is inside a forest with long trees. I felt in the Lord of the Rings movie. Do you know what I mean? Along the way, the trail changes a lot, including the temperature of our body. At first, there are hills, but then it gets better! You can find on the way water to drink, do not worry! When we finally arrive at Laguna, the colors remind us of a tropical climate with green and crystalline water in contrast with that blue sky. The white strip of land brings the feeling of a beach if it were not for the cold and the wind, which is so intense at times that it is impossible to hear. But you can find quiet stretches like a beach! And that's what we did, as we came along the trail, we walked around the lake and sat on the other side. There we can drink, listen to music, talk and do a stone-throwing championship bouncing above the water. The tranquility of that place is intrepid!
The trail was not one of the hardest, but the ground demanded attention at many points. It was the only place we found mud and we had to cross over the logs. It is one of those places that bring the feel of a paradise in the earth! It was a beautiful sunny day! We spend about ten hours to do this trail. We finish the day at Santos Bar, it is a nice place for having fun and do new friends!
Laguna de Los Tempanos and Glaciar Vinciguerra: the surprise and the snowy day on the last trekking
It was certainly the most difficult trekking for us. The weather turned unstable as it promises in Patagonia. We began the trail with a quiet step in the forest, then we passed times of strong inclination in the forest closed with many tree trunks. It is a trail with different lands that requires attention, besides following the signs to not get lost. In the final stretch, we climbed a large hill next to a lot of ice. We hope to meet Violeta, a dog who lives in the area and always guides tourists on the trail. There are several stories in which she helped people find their way. She did not show up on that day, but we already know she's okay! When we got to the top, we could see Laguna Vinciguerra and it started to snow. It was the coldest and most remote place. Always carry appropriate clothes to change on the way. The temperature of the body modifies and it is necessary to wear waterproof boots. There is an abundance of water through the way to drink. The good thing is already chilled!
We visited an ice cave near the glacier. It is scary and at the same time gratifying to be in such an isolated place from the society. We can observe the fragility and ephemerality of our life because those mountains have been there for thousands of years. It's wondrous to be able to get so close!
Kaique experience at Lake with barbecue, music and wine
We had a distinct experience in Ushuaia. We made a great kayak trip on Lake Escondido, leaving the town on Route 3. It's a single feeling to be in a cold lake at the end of the world, just listening to nature when it's possible to see beavers around. We were in nine kayaks. Even for those who have not done kayaking throughout life, it’s not a difficult situation!
We went down on an island to make barbecue. It was astonishing. I was impressed. Everyone gathered around the campfire waiting for the barbecue with potatoes, carrots, and onions! We drank a lot of Argentinian wine and heard the stories of our local guide! He also sang with the guitar for us. It was beautiful. Is there anything more unimaginable to close a two-week trip? Very exciting! We returned to the base when it was already dark, the spirit of paddling only with the light of the moon was indescribable. Some people cried at that moment. It is an uncontrollable emotion. Each one realizes the fears that are winning, it is wonderful to join this.
In the van, returning to the bar on our last day,we sang, laughed, lavished so much, it was like building a family in just two weeks. It was fabulous to have fun with you, Maputada! Try new things and you can startle yourself. I am really proud that I’ve enjoyed these times with people that I have never seen before.
And you, would you do something like this?
What was the most different thing that you did to do a dream trip?
Trekking Laguna Esmeralda:
Duration: 6h./ Difficulty: Medium. / All distance: 9,4 Km/ Maximum altitude: 411 m above sea level. / Land: flat and some inclined, humid, with mud, stones, and snow sometimes. The wind is strong in some parts, but also can place to relax well.
Trekking Laguna Vinciguerra:
Duration: 9h./ Difficulty: High./ All distance: 13km. / Altitude: 800m./ Forests, Castoreira, Tillage of Turbal, Lagoon of the Tempanos and Vinciguerra Glacier.
Terrain: inclined, with stones, mud, and possible ice and/or snow.
Agency to do Kaiaque