The end of the world!
Well here I am at the end of the world, Ushuia. This is the most southerly city in the world and we are now back in Arentinian Patagonia after travelling through Chilean Patagonia.
From El Calafate we had a short trip across the border to Peurto Natales where we stocked up for the time we were to spend in the National Park. After leaving Peurto Natales we drove into the Torres del Paine national park and camped on the shores of Lake Pehoe. This salubrious campsite was to be our home for three days, depending on the weather.
Day one was overcast but nonetheless was a good day and we opted to trek to Los Torres. The Towers, as they are known, are three granite peaks standing tall above a glacial lake. They are quite impressive as is all the scenery. (You will have to wait and see the photos!)
I was going to do the classic W trek with Chris and Anne Marie but although I managed to pack one of our tents into a 25 litre rucksack and came down from the towers in 2 hours 20 minutes it was too late for me to make the refuge for the night so I abandoned them to their own devices (they swear nothing happened!).
That night the rain that was ever threatening to arrive arrived and we were wondering wether tomorrow may be our last day in the park. But as Patagonian weather is unpredictable you can imagine our joy when the sky cleared early on, the sun came out and the day ended up quite hot and pleasant. I spent the day wandering around the lakes and going up and down hills (not mountains) and getting some awesome (need some new adjectives here!) views of the mountains.
Day three started with an amazing sunrise. The mountains were blood red and the reflections in the lake were surreal. The weather was threatening to turn bad but never did and so we had another excellent day trekking in the park.
The following day we left quite early in order to get to as close to the Argentinian border as we could. Leaving in the dark we encountered another phenomenal sunrise on the way to Peurto Natales (three months and only two sunrises!!)
We made excelllent time and actually arrived at the Argentinian border that night (amazing, we could have a lie in). The next morning we crossed back into Argentina, lost an hour and arrived in Ushuia later that afternoon where we camped at the bottom of the beginners ski slope (no snow so no skiing).
Spent two chilled out days in Ushuia cruising on the Beagle Channel, watching cormorants, sea lions, wandering around and drinking the beer. Believe it or not they have a beer called Beagle which is a live malt beer (6.8%) on which its really eaasy to get sozzled.
Leaving for Beunos Aires tomorrow. This is a 3040km slog up the east cost of Argentina. The down sides are; two border crossings tomorrow (you have to go through Chile to get back to mainstream Argentina), long driving days, lots of rough camping and no showers. The upside is that we get the chanve to whale watch at Peurto Madryn on the Valdez Peninsula on the way.
Anyway, out for supper and a few beers with a couple of babes (Jo and Anne Marie) I feel I am being chaperoned but after Cusco they should both be careful! Hope everyone is well and that you are all still missing me.
Oh, by the way I have bought a digital camera and I hope I will have time in Buenos Aires to put some on the web for you to look at.
Thinking of you always (NOT!)
Matt somewhere in South America !!!
Telephone: switched off