Thursday, March 2, 2017

Welcome to the End of the World

From one end of Argentina to the other. La Quiaca is in the north, at the crossing to Bolivia. I can't take any credit for knowing this without having made a quick trip to GoogleLand a minute ago.  
I spent an hour this afternoon going through my photographs of Ushaia, one of the two most southernmost cities in South America. It sits on the Beagle Channel. The Straits of Magellan are to the north and to the south the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meet. It's everything you were taught in elementary school geography, and most likely have forgotten. I know I did. One thing I wasn't taught was that the end of the earth -- el fin del mundo -- was astoundingly beautiful.
I'm not a morning person, but we were encouraged by the ship's staff to make sure to get up early and see the sunrise. I can't remember the last time I woke for the sunrise, but I didn't want to miss a minute that might be memorable, and I joined the early risers on the deck. The weather forecast wasn't optimistic, but it turned to be a beautiful and clear day and my reward was this sunrise.
The sun has risen and we were given the gift of sunshine.

It's difficult to choose what activities will maximize my time when I have one day -- actually a little less than a full day -- to see a place I've come thousands of miles to visit. I chose a boat trip to a penguin rookery -- a place where penguins hatch their eggs and raise their young. I have many penguin pictures from my trip, but this is one of my favorites. I was pleased I was able to capture the sea bird in flight on the left and the mountains in the background.

When I think back on my visit to Ushaia three things stand out. The first is the beauty of the area, mountains, sea and sky. The second is seeing penguins for the first time and the third is Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. I think this last is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. I am a fan of lighthouses, but this one is incomparable.

My view as the boat returned to Ushaia via the Beagle Channel. After our return I visited Ushaia and enjoyed an ice cream cone -- we had a sixty degree day -- and spent time perusing lots of penguin bookmarks, t-shirts and souvenirs to take home. It was hard to resist and a few penguin bookmarks did come back to New York with me.  
 I am frequently asked why I like to travel. I realize the answer, "Because I do." isn't a very satisfactory answer. But looking at these pictures gives me the words to answer that question. Sometimes I need to find the beauty/the mystery at the end of the world.
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care!
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