More Steak and the Climb Up Isla Redonda

January 14, 2010 - 4:18 am No Comments

Rainbow to Ushuaia

Went to a restaurant called Bodego Fuegino for a steak dinner last night. The place is friendly but a little cramped inside. And that’s not even bad, since it makes conversation with the other tourists around you pretty easy. Gog and I sometimes play this game where we overhear a foreign language and try to guess where the people are from. The older couple next to us was making a lot of guttural noises, but it was too bouncy and happy to be German, so I guessed it was Dutch. I was right! We ended up having a little conversation with them, and it turns out they’re familiar with the part of the Netherlands where my last name comes from.

Due to some confusion when ordering, the waitress brought us a single salad and a single serving of steak. Gog and I just decided to share what we had, and it turned out to be the perfect portion. So rather than trying to put down huge piles of meat every time we eat, Gog and I might share some meals over the next few days.

Bodegon Fueguino Restaurant

Nighttime in Ushuaia

Last night, we made our way over to Dublin and found it PACKED with people from Scotland, England, and Australia. Eureka! Who would have thought that Ushuaia would be where we’d find the loudest bar in South America?

Walking to Dublin

Most of these people were traveling around South America together on a big bus, staying in hostels and doing group activities, similar to what I did with Oz Experience in Australia. I would have liked to do something similar with Gog, but these overland South America tours take upwards of six weeks. We just didn’t have the time.

This morning, I woke up to see clouds rolling over the charcoal-colored mountains outside our hotel window. No rain. We’ve really lucked out with the weather.

Frasco was our guide again for today’s tour. Our group consisted of three Ukrainians named Alex and a few others who were much less interesting. Tierra del Fuego National Park, just outside of Ushuaia, was a short drive away.

Our hike today took us along up and down hills, through forest, and along the coast of Beagle Channel. Walking the well-trodden, mushy trails, we were treated to scenic views of crystal clear water and impressive snow-capped mountains just across the border in Chile. We ended up walking about 8 km of coastline.

Patagonian Roots

Limestone and Mountains

Crumbling Rock and Mountains

Doug in Patagonia

Purple Shells and Orange Rocks

A Slice of Patagonia

We’re only about 750 miles away from Antarctica down here. Standing on the quiet shore, I gazed to the south at mountains in the distance, knowing that Antarctica is just beyond them. I wonder what Antarctica is like. Gog and I actually considered taking a cruise down there on this trip, but they’re frightfully expensive and we just didn’t have the time for it.

The Way to Antarctica

Bird at Lunch I

By the time we reached Bahia Lapataia, the morning clouds had cleared, the sun was out, and the air was crisp. We reached the end of Route 3, one of the most famous and longest stretches of road in Argentina.

Glassy Water, Green Mountains, Blue Sky

Sign at Bahia Lapataia

Stream in Patagonia

While the rest of the group went on a canoe ride, Gog and I were taken by Zodiac (inflatable boat, like a raft with a motor) to Isla Redonda, a quiet little outcropping in the middle of Lapataia.

It was on Isla Redonda that I found Rocky, the world’s friendliest dog, some locals who live in a little cabin right by the dock.

With the Friendliest Dog in the World

A View of Chile

Under the Sun

Gog and I hiked through forest and over some rocky ledges, finally making our way to the top. We sat on a conveniently placed bench and admired the majestic view all around us.

Crystal clear water. Rolling green hills. Mountains dappled with snow in the distance. Blue sky and a friendly sun overhead. Cool breeze. Silence. Perfect.

The Top of Isla Redonda

It was at the top of Isla Redonda that Gog and I were at our southernmost point. Strange to imagine myself standing upside down on Planet Earth.

After the tour, we got cleaned up and walked up a steep hill to eat at a highly rated restaurant called Kaupé. The view was good, but a radio tower and power lines ruined photos. The food was good, but the portions were small. The service was good, but the meal was a little expensive.

Almond Ice Cream

As we explored Ushuaia later that evening, Gog managed to set off a bank alarm by brushing his hand up against a window as we walked by. We were determined to find someplace other than Dublin to hang out, but all of the places in our travel guides had moved or were closed down. Seems to be a running theme for us in South America. Up-to-date listings and reviews of bars and clubs on TripAdvisor would be invaluable to the young, social traveler.

So we ended up at Dublin. Watching TV at the bar, Gog and I caught the tail end of a tournament football match between Boca Juniors and their archrival, San Lorenzo. After trailing for most of the game, Boca’s best player, Martin Palermo, hit dramatic header to tie the game with seconds left. Nobody else in the bar seemed to care, but Gog and I erupted in our seats.

Heading home at 3:30am, the early sunrise filled the sky with light.

Tomorrow, we have a day to chill out before catching a flight north to El Calafate, a town surrounded by rugged mountains and giant glaciers.

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