There were a number of reasons that we ended up extending our trip in South America, however probably the most often and widely discussed was simple: Brian wanted to see penguins. And if you want to see penguins, you might as well head to the end of the world, Ushuaia.
Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. As such it is home to most of the southernmost things. This is despite the fact that the southernmost town in the world (Puerto Williams, Chile) is a full three miles south of Ushuaia.
Ushuaia is on the island of Tierra del Fuego, so driving there means you have to take a ferry across the Magellan Strait.
Then you drive past about 10,000 of these guys hanging out by the road. Not sure if the fences are designed to keep them in, but if they are they work very poorly.
Then you keep driving on a mix of paved and gravel roads, cross theborder back into Argentina, and keep on going.
Until you eventually get here.
We are a long way from things.
We had to wait a couple days for an open penguin tour so we went running.
To this lake.
Then we climbed up the mountain on the other side.
The view was nice.
En route to the Penguin viewing. The wind blows hard enough here, along the Beagle Channel, that these trees grow sideways. Everyone is obligated to take a picture.
This is mine.
Then we finally arrived on Penguin Island and there were penguins.
Lots of penguins.
Most of them are quite small and look like this. These are the Magellan penguins that originally colonized the island in the 70's. Apparently one year they just turned up.
These are the slightly larger King penguins which showed up to join the party in the 90's. They look like a small version of the Emperor penguins of national geographic.
Still they are not very big. (Brian inserted for scale)
The penguins dig small burrows that they live/raise chicks in. Apparently penguins are bad at digging since this three foot deep hole takes them about 3 months to dig.
But it seems pretty cozy once complete.
One Penguin family. The chick (middle) is about 2 months old so it still has its fluffy, non waterproof, feathers.
Big penguin neighborhood.
And in case you were worried I had just used internet stock photos for these posts I have proof I was there.
Now back to America. And work.