Notes of a traveller

Alan Dodds – photographer (among other things)

Notes of a traveller

Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego and the Falkland Islands

Posted on Friday, November 3rd, 2017 at 4:05 am

Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego

For me, Tierra Del Fuego has been one of those mystical names in far off places of myth and legend that are difficult to reach. To find ourselves approaching Ushuaia, the southern most city of the South American continent, with the Peaks of Tierra Del Fuego rising behind, seems like a dream. And yet, here we are!

We are the first visitors of the season to a town recently awoken from the extremes of winter. It is cold. The town itself looks very smart beneath the white of the mountains with its colourful buildings along the water front. We have decided to take a tour which will take us up into the mountains to the Garibaldi Pass on the only road to the rest of South America.

Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

We approach the smart waterfront of Ushuaia
Airport at Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

The airport is a vital link to this remote city.
Towards the Garibaldi Pass Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

Into the mountains we go. The bottom of the valley is peat bog.
Garibaldi Pass Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

On top of the pass, the only route over the mountains.
the Garibaldi Pass Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

We are told that the winter snow had already cleared, but a couple of days before it snowed, just for us!
The Garibaldi Pass Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

The old four wheel drive road snakes its way down beneath its modern cousin to the “Hidden Lake”.

On the way back down from the pass, we stop at a “Winter Resort” for a snack. This resort boasts two ski lifts up to the extensive ski fields and lots of Huskies for the sleds. We are told that this is a favourite practice stop for competitive European skiers who need to keep up their skills year round. At this time of the year, the dogs have little to do.

Ski resort dogs Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

Feeding time …
Ski resort Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

The dog keepers house
Ski resort dogs Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

Looks quite cuddly really …
Ski resort Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

Another tour gets lunch … only a snack for us!
Ski resort Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

These growths are the trees defence against a fungus. They are much prized by crafts people.
Ski resort Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

Lots and lots and lots of firewood.

As we leave Ushuaia, at sea once more, the sunset fires up and we spend some time on the deck just being in the beauty of the moment. What an amazing place. What is it about sunsets that fire the imagination?

Sunset Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina


Then the lights of Ushuaia bid us farewell.

Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

Farewell to Ushuaia!

Cape Horn

Onwards we go still further south and as we sleep away the night. We have an early morning call as we pass Cape Horn with flat seas and patchy sunlight. All the stories we have heard about this dramatic stretch of water where the meeting of the Pacific and Atlantic ocean currents combined with the roaring of frequent storms have caused so much pain through the ages. Not for us today!

Cape Horn Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

Cape Horn on a sunny day.
Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

For the detail freaks among you, this is what the ship said.
Cape Horn Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

Just off Cape Horn. If you look carefully, you can see the snow covered peaks of the Andes stretching into the distance.

The Falkland Islands

We arrive off the Falkland Islands in the early morning and anchor in the outer harbour to be greeted by calm seas and sunshine. It will be a long tender ride today … could be 45 minutes. We are told that, of all the stops in this part of the world, the Falklands can be one of the most difficult and sometimes ships are unable to stop here because of high winds and heavy seas.

Even if they do stop, there can be problems with the tendering process. On one occasion, several hundred visitors could not be brought back to the ship and had to stay on the island for an extra night, with the ship calling back the next day! Needless to say, finding beds for everyone was a nightmare.

Cape Horn Tierra Del Fuego Patagonia Argentina

No Doubt where we are!
The Falkland Islands

Could we be in England? A church steeple and a Land Rover driving on the left hand side of the road.
The Falkland Islands

Jubilee Villas – 1837 and a Union Jack. How english can you get?
The Falkland Islands

Untended cottage gardens after the winter.
The Falkland Islands

Lots of 4WD’s here!
The Falkland Islands

Perhaps “Hand made in the Falklands” applies to the house as well.
The Falkland Islands

Best fish and chips on the island.
The Falkland Islands

Signs of Rule Britannia
The Falkland Islands

Two red telephone boxes and a red post box! Apparently the stamps are really popular.
The Falkland Islands

Pretty geese

This is the memorial to those lost in the Falklands war of 1982, when the Brits came and kicked the occupying Argentinians off the islands. Although there were losses, the Falkland islanders are as one in thinking that this was a good thing!

The Falkland Islands

Memorial to those lost in the 1982 Falklands War
The Falkland Islands

Commemorating those lost.
The Falkland Islands

One day, the sea was so rough that this boat found itself half way up a lamp post.
The Falkland Islands

The smell of gorse flowers in full bloom is amazing.
The Falkland Islands

This memorial commemorates the rescue of the Islands from the Germans in 1914.
The Falkland Islands

I’m sure they had gone past sailing ships in 1914.
The Falkland Islands

The hills behind Stanley where much of the fighting took place in 1982
The Falkland Islands

What ever else you might think, the Falkland Islanders have much to thank Maggie for.
The Falkland Islands

Christchurch and whale jaw bones.
The Falkland Islands

Do they really have a parking problem here?
The Falkland Islands

As the afternoon wore on, the wind got up and, on the ride back, some people got very wet.
The Falkland Islands

As we pass this beach on the way out to sea, we wonder about the black and white specs on the beach
The Falkland Islands

Magnified a bit … there they are … the penguins!

Turning north once more, we have a couple of sea days before finding land once more, this time it will be Montevideo in Uruguay and then Buenos Aires. Back to the big smoke!



10 responses to “Ushuaia Tierra Del Fuego and the Falkland Islands”

  1. Lynn Ayiotis says:

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful experience you are having together. xx

  2. Lynn Ayiotis says:

    What a wonderful experience you are sharing with us and together. xx

  3. Tony / Beryl D says:

    Quite a journey, on and on, more marvelous pictures and memories made. What can you come up with after this, home certainly wont be the same!!!!
    Looking forward to the next instalment.

    Love, Tony and Beryl ( in the northern hemisphere )

  4. Jonathan and Pam says:

    Ushuaia – fantastic to see – loved the boat info pic especially,
    Falklands – hmm. It must be great to have visited and seen those sweeping hills first hand. I practised my patience and won’t mention TBW!

    Love and best

    Jonathan and Pam

  5. Helen Lynes says:


    So lovely to see your photos and hear the news!

    What an amazing species we are!

  6. Pippa Samaya says:

    Wowzer! Looks truly breathtaking! That first stop especially 😍

  7. Christina McGuinness says:

    Big WOW to seeing Tierra del Fuego. Certainly a place of my imagination, but won’t be seeing this lifetime, so very lucky you two can share with us lot!
    Marvellous shots of the mountains sitting ‘right there’ behind the town…and a trip to the only road out of town…how high is the pass? And interesting an Italian name! Around Cape Horn and the computer screen of ordinates of interest to both Richard and I, thanks.
    Looking forward to next leg…cheers, love Chris XX!

  8. Jac says:

    Have to call it. My very favourite visits r from u Alan! X So many Qs! Just bful and how lucky r we to hav u share with us… 1914 ship may also hav had engine w sail boosters…. love the map – Antarctica so close! Cannot imagine how cold it gets in Winter – hope the huskies love it there😉☺️

  9. Kenny Steward says:

    Lovely tails, and wonderful photos. Didn’t fancy a bit of skiing while you were there?😂

  10. Olly says:

    Wonderful journey, great photo’s. It’s almost is if we are there with you. Love Olly & Corrinne

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