Tuesday, December 3, 2013

U is for...

Tierra del Fuego
(Added Later....Guess I should have included a pronunciation:  Ooshwhya)

One of the most fun things in my life has been the opportunity to visit some of the places I read about as a child and never dreamed I would actually visit. 

Ushuaia is supposed to be the most southerly city in the world. It is part of Argentina and is located on the most southerly tip of South America.  It is part of the province of Tierra Del Fuego -- the Land of Fire. The Beagle Channel runs between the city and the island of Tierra Del Fuego.  The Beagle Channel is where the HMS Beagle sailed from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.  This saved traveling around the Horn thereby avoiding one of the most treacherous stretches of sea in the world. 

Probably taken in the summer. (Our winter)

As you might expect, Ushuaia is quite similar to the cities in northern Alaska, and is set against a background of snow covered mountains. It was cold, especially the morning I got up very early to ride the catamaran that took us around the rocky islands to see the bird life and the seals. I was so excited I felt I must be dreaming. Almost everyone else aboard the catamaran was sitting in the warmth of the cabin, but I, my face beaming, just had to stand out on one of the floats and survey the landscape as we chugged through the water. What a memory! 

Birds in the Beagle Channel
Seals in the Beagle Channel

Returning from our trip in the Beagle Channel.  Our cruise ship in center.

I learned about Ushuaia from my Geography class. Do they teach Geography any more? You might wonder, if it's so cold why do they call it the Land of Fire? No, not because of volcanoes. Apparently the passengers of the Beagle were treated to the sight of near naked Indians who lived on the island. At night the island was dotted with fires from their encampments, hence the name, Tierra del Fuego -- the Land of Fire.

We did actually sail around the Horn on that trip, but it was sunny and the sea was as flat as a millpond.  The captain said in his 45 years of sailing he had never seen the very tip of the cape so calm.  Consequently we were able to spend more than half an hour just sitting in place and taking as many photos of the tip as we wanted.  That's another blog.

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday, so ably and faithfully led by Mrs. Nesbitt and Roger Owen Green.
Please click HERE to see more interesting and educational entries.



Leslie: said...

Wow! I'd have been outside with you, camera in hand, taking shot after shot. I did not know there was a short cut around the tip.

abcw team

Roger Owen Green said...

I had never heard of this place!

Reader Wil said...

We call this place Vuurland ( vuur = fire). At first I thought it was Norway or New Zealand. I should like to go there sometime. Beautiful, Chris!
Wil, ABCW Team

Mersad said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I always love to read about and discover new places.

Hazel Ceej said...

What an interesting place! At first glance I thought those were people exploring the Beagle Channel. Thanks for including the pronunciation.


Abraham Lincoln said...

Beautiful story Chris. I like your adventures. I sometimes feel like I am dreaming when I read your posts. Like dreams I can never visit, your posts are like that so I have to see it through your eyes.

snafu said...

How interesting, I had heard the name Tierra del Fuego before but never really thought about where it was or why it was called that. I did not know there was a way past the cape like that either.

Gattina said...

What a wonderful experience !
ABC Wednesday

Carver said...

What a beautiful place and wonderful shots of it.

claude said...

Hi Chris !
Probably a very nice cruise in a very nice country. The end of the world.

Barbara said...

That must have been a great trip and your teaching life sounds interesting.