I’m not going to lie: the Tierra del Fuego is far from everything.
This piece of land, situated at the very southern end of the south American continent, and whose land belongs to Argentina, is named for its geological activity. Tierra del Fuego means ‘land of fire’, and is made up of lots of relatively small islands created by the volcanoes of the region.
Let me explain: Tierra del Fuego is situated right at the intersection of three tectonic plates: the South-American plate, the Scotia plate and the Antarctic plate. And what happens where plates meet? Volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains, the whole shebang, basically. And while it makes for a rugged, slightly unpracticable landscape, it’s rather lovely on the eye.
We spent three days in the land of fire. After the uneventful crossing of the Magellan strait (where every ‘dolphin’ we spotted turned out to be a graceful penguin), we spent our most memorable night of the trip, wild camping in the fields surrounding an abandoned house we made ours. Only its walls can tell the story of our terrible, terrible dance moves…
The next two days in Ushuaia were filled with penguins, pan de queso, sea lions, walks, penguins, meat, penguins, the most wonderful lighthouse at the end of the word, and penguins.
To be rather honest, I didn’t enjoy Ushuaia much. I had imagined a small wind-battered town where only lovers of nature came to spot icebergs and walk arduous trails that led to Cape Horn. As it turns out, Ushuaia is a large, urban and very touristic city, filled with fashion shops, restaurants and casinos. There are three different Irish pubs. The magic was lacking.
But one thing slightly made up for it: I got to stamp my own passport! I’m not sure it’s an entirely okay thing to do, but that made it even better…