Tierra del Fuego

What a beautiful place!

I went on a canoeing and hiking tour where we started paddling in Lago Roca at its Southern Point, going past the island in Rio Lapataia. We had to lift the canoe out of the water at one point and move it over to the other side as we weren’t allowed to go under the Rt 3 bridge, we then continued around the other islands before finishing.

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Beautiful is almost an understatement. The whole day was an excellent experience with nature and very peaceful. We saw various bird species and hoped to see otters but didn’t see any. IMG_9346.JPGIMG_9347.JPGIMG_9350.JPGIMG_9351.JPGIMG_9355.JPG

We came out of the water at the end of Rt 3, taking some photos with the signs there of course. IMG_9361.JPGIMG_9362.JPGIMG_9363.JPG

At lunch, the tour had us at a waterfront tent. We had some unique company – a carancho, which is a hawk, vulture, turkey type of bird. It was very calm but it definitely knew we were eating. It posed for us and stood guard outside of the tent while we ate. It was joined by a smaller one after a while. It got quite close to the opening, testing the limits sometimes before scurrying back to its perch on a log, just feet from the entrance. IMG_9367.JPGIMG_9371.JPG

After lunch, we did about a 2 hour, moderate hike up to a viewpoint where we could see beautiful peaks, including the Condor in Chile. There were various signs along the way with a tree as your guide. When we first started out, El Tren del Fin del Mundo (Then end of the world train) was just passing by so we waved to the passengers. IMG_9383.JPGIMG_9387.JPGIMG_9390.JPGIMG_9392.JPGIMG_9397.JPG

There was a beaver site on the hike as well. The beavers were introduced in 1946 by sailors and thrive in the area. They are much bigger than their Canadian counterparts since they don’t have any predators – 30 vs. 40 kilos. There were many flowers on the route, including palomitas, thin little white flowers that sprouted up everywhere. Palomitas means little doves in Spanish. IMG_9408.JPG

The Magellan Strait above Tierra del Fuego was first discovered in 1520, it took almost 300 years before the Beagle Channel was explored, with Charles Darwin on board the Beagle ship. They are separated by ~300km so they joke that only a km per year was explored!

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