Day 8: Ushuaia (Argentina) and boarding G Expedition

Wednesday, January 3rd 2018

Day 2 of G Adventures – Antarctica Classic – Booking code: XVCASX

Itinerary for the second day: “Enjoy a free morning in Ushuaia. Do any last minute shopping, explore the town, or visit the surrounding countryside. Embarkation on the G Expedition begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Enjoy the evening sailing through the Beagle Channel.

In the morning we get up early. Our luggage must be at reception to be boarded to the G Expedition at 10 am. Yesterday at the G Adventures briefing we got luggage tags with room numbers and white bands for the boarding groups.

Breakfast is very simple. As we arrive as one of the earliest “Yoghurt is finished for today”, “Multgrain bread is finished for today”, albatros hotel is not the hotel of choice in Ushuaia. WiFi is ALBATROSWIFI and password “pasajeros”. Wifi is reliable and medium speed.

Yesterday a the briefing a “Tierra del Fuego” (Fireland) tour was offered for 75 USD per person. We enrolled. So we are picked up with a coach at the hotel and leave Ushuaia at 8:10 am. The itenerary of the tour was offered like “Explore this stunning coastal national park extending 630 sq km. We’ll take care of the transport, the park entrance fee, and take you to scenic lookouts in the southern portion of the park. Pass Valle Rio Pipo on the way to Austral Fueguino train station, opt to take the End of the World train before visiting Lago Roca and Bahía Lapataia. Keep an eye out for a variety of birdlife and spectacular colours in the fall.

In the coach we all get an entrace ticket to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego (AR$ 350 ~ 15 EUR).

First station with the coach is the “Tren fin del mundo” (the train at the end of the world). This train was used by convicts in the 1920s to transport logged wood to Ushuaia. Now it is used only for a touristic experience.

The ticket is not cheap though (AR$ 850 ~ 35 EUR per person). And it is important not to tear of the ticket as designed, but to use and additional stamp. I would not go with the tren del mundo again, instead I would walk. The forests are nice and you walk on a gravel road through them.

You sit rather on each other and it costs a fortune. Seen this, done that.

The heating was on – really on – so we all came out hot.

Afterwards we visit the most awesome parts of tiego del fuero with the coach and get at each place 15 to 20 min to sneak around.

We visit

  • Cascada de la Macarena: waterfalls
  • Correo del fin del mundo: the post office at the end of the world, and all the travellers go and stamp their passport for USD 3??! It is start point of the famous Costal Trail, 8 km, 3 hours. We will walk this.
  • Mirador Lago Roca: the Viewpoint over lake rock. Including a walk, but not to exhausting, please!
  • Alakush Visitor Center: We have a coke and a good pastry here
  • Bahia Lapataia: The end of the world; I can say, the world is no disc, there is no drop off or so.

There is a Mushroom growing on the trees, which forms a weird yellow fruit. The indigenes did collect this fruit and eat it (raw). I tried, tastes like nothing, looks nice.

We are brought back to ushuaia at 01:00 pm. We walk to a local supermarket, to get some granola (who knos what will be breakfast on the boad) and get some good lunch at a Dali Cafe.

We meet at the harbor street at 03:30 pm with the G Adventure guys. This is the time to board the G Expedition, our home for the next 10 nights:

And good luck we got a cabin upgrade to cabin 410, which seems to be the jackpot cabin of the vessel. We have a sleeping room and a lounge and a lot of windows (not bulleyes). The vessel seems to be fully booked with 134 passengers.

First we get an introduction. The russian captain wins the hearts immediately, as he introduces himself as “married, 3 kids, what shall I say? But about this ship, very strrrong hulll. Gooood metalll, not cheap korean, neeew engines, very strrrrong. Pushes the ice awaaay”. You donot need to say where his interest are going. He gets the nick name “Captain Push Push” immediately.

The program of the day and weather forecast is publicated on whiteboards:

Then we have securitybriefing and meet already some interesting people.

Then we leave Ushuaia heading south to Antarctica ….

The weather forecast for tomorrow is sensational. All passengers are super happy, especially the seasick candidates expected in their horrors waves of 10 to 12 meters in the Drakes passage.

No wind, no rain, waves up to only 3 meters …

But it sill looks like this from the window.

During the night we slowly make our way to the east out of the beagle channel:

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