December 17, 2014- Wednesday (Ushuaia)
I woke up around 6:45AM for breakfast, which for me consisted of bread and cornflakes. I’m really looking forward to today’s hike in the Southern Andes (Fuegian Andes). Around 8:30AM the group met in the lobby of the hostel and prepared to leave for the hike up to Laguna Turquesa. The road we took up had amazing views of the Andes all around.On the way up we stopped at an outlook spot to take pictures; while there a couple of people, who were probably local artists, with a dog were setting up a booth with handmade jewelry. From there we continued on our way up to the trail where we would begin our hike.
The hike up was very steep and muddy, much more difficult than I expected. It had rained last night so there was mud everywhere, and it wasn’t long before we all had some trace of mud our clothes. Once we cleared the tree line there were spectacular views of the mountains on the other side of the valley, and the view at the top was even better (but i don’t know how much better it could get), definitely well worth all of the hard work. At the top we stopped next to a glacial lake for lunch and a rest.
After eating, we took advantage of the amazing scenery to take a few group photos, after which we began making our way back down; this ended up being quite interesting. The path seemed steeper on the way down, and much more slippery, almost everyone slipped at least once, at least two people ended up knee deep in mud. After a very muddy and steep decent, we made our way back to the hostel.
After some down time we decided to visit the Museum about the history of Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. Due to Ushuaia being separated from the mainland it used to be home to a prison for the most dangerous criminals, a prison that, thankful, has since been shut down. Around 7:30PM we went to dinner at Isle de Chocolate once again, a place that has become a favourite of the many students on the trip. While on our way back we stopped at the supermarket, which I found very interesting compared to the supermarkets in the states, it was much smaller, but still had a wide selection. On the way back to the hostel we were accompanied by a dog, there are local dogs that wander the streets and are essentially members of the community. The dog followed us all the way back to the hostel and stood outside for a while after. I felt bad leaving him outside like that, but we couldn’t bring him inside. Anyway, tomorrow is going to be the most exciting day yet, the day we finally get on the ship and start making our way to Antarctica.