Terra Del Fuego Park, Argentina

After spending the night in Ushuaia Argentina, we had the day to ourselves before the 5:00 departure of the Ocean Nova Cruise Ship to Antarctica. So a fellow traveler Glen and I decided to go check out Terra Del Fuego Park. This is an easy eight miles (via taxi and some bus service) from town. Rather than pay the big bucks to have a taxi wait for us (or go on the tour busses), we just had a taxi drop us off at the Park entrance and figured we'd catch the bus coming back. We then grabbed a map and picked a water front hike that looked interesting - I recall it was the Pampa Alta Trail.

On the cab ride to Terra Del Fuego Park we pass the Southernmost Golf Course in the World

Southernmost Golf Course in the World

Several dirt roads meander inside of Terra Del Fuego Park

Terra Del Fuego Park 1

Needless to say, the scenery was stunning

Terra Del Fuego Park 2

Zooming in from the same point

Terra Del Fuego Park 3

Close-up of the mountains on a beautiful day

Terra Del Fuego Park 4

Glen took a picture of this scary looking American tourist - me! ;-)

Terra Del Fuego Park 5

Lots of growth over the trails

Terra Del Fuego Park 6

Another scenic view of Terra Del Fuego Park

Terra Del Fuego Park 7

Adult Male Upland Goose in Terra Del Fuego - Mouseover Image for another view

Terra Del Fuego Park wildlife

And here's the Female - very different colors

Terra Del Fuego Park 8

Close-up with baby chick in background - note how well they blend into the terrain

Terra Del Fuego Park 9

Count how many baby chicks are in this picture - hard to pick 'em out!

Terra Del Fuego Park a

Upland Goose Family heads into the water

Terra Del Fuego Park b

They stayed in good formation!

Terra Del Fuego Park c

In deeper (bluer) water

Terra Del Fuego Park d

The Male keeps an eye on the procession ...

Terra Del Fuego Park e

... and then finally made his way to the water to join them

Terra Del Fuego Park f

Some funky mushroom growths on the trees

Terra Del Fuego Park g

In 2012, Gene Bozniak (a Botany Professor) sent me an Email and closeup picture of those "funky mushrooms"
He said they are Cyttaria darwinii (Darwin's Fungus) also known as Indian Bread since they are edible

Cyttaria darwinii  Darwin's Fungus

We saw a handful of other people on our hike

Terra Del Fuego Park h

Just Chillin' in Terra Del Fuego Park

Terra Del Fuego Park i
The hiking, wildlife, and scenery of Terra Del Fuego Park were outstanding, but Glen and I had a bit of an issue getting back to Ushuaia. We were about 5 miles inside the park (with the entrance being another 8 miles back to Ushuaia) and we didn't see the afternoon bus that we thought would take us back. And remember that our ship was leaving to Antarctica at 5:00PM ... and it's not like we can "catch up" to that - D'OH! ;-)

Now some people would get really worried ... but Glen was a great guy to have along as he stayed calm. He suggested at one time starting to jog, but he is in better shape than I am (and 13 miles with camera gear would be quite the marathon), so I said lets try to thumb a ride from the occasional car we would see drive by. After several drove past my outstretched thumb (and as we watched the time tick away!), I put a 20 Peso Note in my hand which I figured should help our cause. A couple of guys then picked us up and we jumped in the backseat.

They were quite talkative (in Spanish, but fortunately, Glen was able to converse well) and within a minute, I overheard a "Bush ... Obama" question to Glen - amazing how interested (and knowledgeable) people overseas are about American politics. They were nice enough to drop us off less than a mile from the hotel, and refused to take our Peso's ... but we (rightfully so) insisted they do so.

We made it back to the hotel where I had time for quick (final!) Email check just before the final bus departed for the marina - perfect timing!
It was then time to board the ship and depart to Antarctica!

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