Ushuaia – Patagonia–Argentine-The doorway to the southern ice fields of the Antarctic!
The mountains in this area range to a height of approx. 1000 meters and are used by the inhabitants of Argentine as a ski resort.
The harbour is used by expedition ships and cruise ships as the doorway to the Antarctic. Ushuaia, with its 60.000 inhabitants, is the most southern city in the world!
Our day started at 4.30am when the alar, clock rang! Fifteen minutes later I was on deck 11 with my camera equipment to catch sunrise and the sail-into Ushuaia. It was wonderful. Snow peaked mountains, beautiful colours reflecting on the “Beagle Channel” as we moved towards our destination.
It was cold but a marvellous experience! Winter clothes are now being worn. We won´t be needing any swimming clothes until we sail into the South Pacific. Peter and I were on deck until approx. 7.15am. The crew served hot chocolate around 6.ooam which was great and helped against the cold wind which had set in. We did however have wonderful sunshine that allowed everyone taking photos to get some lovely shots.
On arrival in Ushuaia at 8.00am the ship needed at least 40 minutes to dock as another ship had taken our planned spot. At 8.45am we left the ship and headed for our car rental office. Chris and his parents Martin and Grit had also booked a car at the same office so we all set off together. Our cars had been pre-booked for 8.30am but on arrival at the office the sign informed us that the office did not open until 9.30am. It was not really a problem as our ship was not leaving until 8pm – all on board at 7.30pm.
Just after 10am Peter and I set off for the Ushuaia National Park. Entrance fee to the park was approx. €18 but money only in local Pesos, which we had with us. The park is ideal for long walks up to 4 – 6 hours. After spending 5 hours in the park where we drank a coffee and enjoyed local cake before setting off back to town. We decided it was too late to go on a boat trip and so headed for the famous museum which was formally a large prison hoping to find out more about the history of the local inhabitants. Unfortunately this was not the case, the information was more about the naval and prison history.
The city of Ushuaia reminded me very much of our tour to Alaska. The homes and people do not seem to put value on luxury items and everything is very basic and about survival. We enjoyed our visit to this destination and of course to the most southern city before the ANTARTIC!
We went on deck for the sail-away but it was cold and started to rain so we gave up on that. Also…. We had to get to bed early as our alarm clock had to be set for 5am as the captain plans sailing round “CAPE HORN”. What an experience! Not just past the cape but around it!!!!!
Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. It is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. It was founded October 12 of 1884 and is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel surrounded by the mountain range of the Martial Glacier, in the Bay of Ushuaia. Besides being an administrative center, it is a light industrial port and tourist hub.
The word Ushuaia comes from the Yaghan and means "deep bay" or "bay to background".
History: The Selk´nam Indians, also called the Ona, first arrived about 10,000 years ago. The southern group of people indigenous to the area, The Yaghan (also known as Yámana), occupied what is now Ushuaia, lived in continual conflict with the northern inhabitants of the island.
For much of the latter half of the 19th century, the eastern portion of Tierra del Fuego was populated by a substantial majority of nationals who were not Argentine citizens, including a number of British subjects. Ushuaia was founded informally by British missionaries, following previous British surveys, long before Argentine nationals or government representatives arrived there on a permanent basis. The British ship HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain Robert FritzRoy, first reached the channel on January 29, 1833, during its maiden voyage. The city was originally named by early British missionaries[ using the native Ya´mana name for the area.
The British missionary Waite Hockin ]became the first European to live in Ushuaia when he stayed with the Yámana people between 18 January and mid-September 1869. In 1870 more British missionaries arrived to establish a small settlement. The following year the first marriage was performed. During 1872, 36 baptisms and 7 marriages and the first European birth (Thomas Despard Bridges) in Tierra del Fuego were registered. The first house constructed in Ushuaia was a pre-assembled 3 room home prepared in the Falkland Islands in 1870 for Reverend Thomas Bridges. One room was for the Bridges family, a second was for a Yámana married couple, while the third served as the chapel.
Thomas Bridges learned the Yaghan (coastal dwellers) language, which sounded like a gurgling of the throat, and was a fluent speaker. To a lesser extent he was able to communicate in the Ona (forest dwellers) language. His missionary work was mainly directed at the Yaghans. The word Yamana simply means "people" in the Yaghan language. He wrote a dictionary of the Yaghan language, the original manuscript of which is in the British Museum. As the Yaghans had no ability nor means to write, Thomas Bridges had to construct an alphabet which was suited to the phonetics of the language. The original manuscript was lost three times but recovered and almost published under an incorrect name. More than one alphabet has been used over the years in the rendering of this dictionary. The odyssey of the manuscript covered nearly half a century before it was finally published. Natalie Goodall was instrumental in reprinting the dictionary in 1987 and providing valuable insights into the history of Thomas Bridges' work.
The Yámana tribe is not longer in existence. The last two members died approx. 10 years ago.
In addition to being a vacation destination for local and international tourists, Ushuaia is also the key access point to the Sluthern Ocean. Due to its position “At the end of the World” and also “The entrance to the Antartic”, it is also an expensive city. Cruise and expedition ships fill up stocks here and have to consequently pay high prices for goods.
Das Tor zum südlichen Eismeer
Nach 2 Seetage von Puerto Madryn nach Ushuaia legten wir im Hafen von Ushuaia an.
Vom Atlantik aus nahm unser Kapitän den Weg durch den Beagle Kanal, in dessen Mitte die Grenze zwischen Argentinien und Chile verläuft.
Die langsame Fahrt wurde zu einem Ereignis der besonderen Art.
Sonnenaufgang war für 5.15 Uhr angekündigt. Um 4.45 Uhr wartete Linda bereits auf die Dinge die da kommen sollten. Ein fantastischer Sonnenaufgang entschädigte sie.
Dem Verlauf des Kanals folgend wurden wir durch sehr schön verlaufende Gebirgszüge ins Staunen versetzt. Wir harten bei 9 Grad und steifer Brise dick angezogen bis zum erreichen Ushuaia an Deck aus.
Heißer Tee und Frühstück brachte unsere Lebensgeister zurück und so machten wir uns auf den Weg zur Autovermietung nach einer halben Stunde warten auf den Mitarbeiter konnte wir unser Vorhaben beginnen.
Da es in der Stadt und auch in der Umgebung nicht so sehr viel zu sehen gab, entschieden wir uns für den Nationalpark. Wunderschöne Blicke erlaubte uns mal wieder der fast Regen freie Tag von einer Plattform am Seeufer auf das Bergpanorama.
Ein weiteres Highlight war, Linda konnte von einem abgelegenen Pfad endlich ihre Drone fliegen lassen. Nach weiteren Fotostopps freuten wir uns nun auf eine Tasse Kaffee, den angebotenen Kuchen haben wir ebenfalls genossen.
Zurück in der Stadt hatten wir noch genügend Zeit um uns das erste Gebäude welches errichtet wurde an zu sehen. Es war ein Gefängnis für politische Gefangene und ist heute ein Museum. Wir waren allerdings ziemlich enttäuscht was wir für einen Eintrittspreis von 24 USD Geboten bekamen. über die von tiefen L√∂chern behaftete Stra√üe fuhren wir zurück zur Autovermietung. Linda nutzte dort noch für 1 Stunde das allerdings sehr langsame Internet. Nach dem Abendessen ließen wir es langsam angehen.
In seiner Abendansprache ließ der Kapitän durchblicken das die Reederei in Verhandlungen mit den Chilenischen Behörden standen um eine Umfahrung KAP HORNS zu erreichen. Das bedeutete, nochmal sehr früh aufstehen um das Ereignis erleben zu dürfen.
Entdecker Kapitän Fitz Roy befuhr den Beagle Kanal, der in der Region unterwegs war. Die zweite Reise 1840 wurde von Charles Darwin begleitet.
Es lebten nur Indianer die sich mit gurgelten Lauten unterhielten.
Erst 1947 wurde das erste Gebäude errichtet. Es war ein Gefängnis in dem politische Gefangene unterbracht waren. Das Gefängnis ist heute ein Museum.
Die letzten Ureinwohner, ein Geschwisterpaar starben erst vor 10 Jahren.
Seit Entdeckung starben die Ureinwohner allerdings nach und nach durch bis daher
von weißen Siedlern eingeschleppte Krankheiten gegen die die Indianer keine Abwehrstoffe generieren konnten aus.
Heute leben 60 Tausend Menschen in der Stadt. Im Sommer beginnen etliche Touren in die Arktis, der Tourismus wird weiter durch Kreuzfahrtschiffe angekurbelt.
In den Wintermonaten haben vornehmlich die Argentinier die Bergregionen für den Skisport entdeckt.