Sunday 4 Apr
Penguins and Sea Lions. Back in the Galapagos?
Went down to the harbour at 8.30am to book a cruise out to see the "penguins at the end of the world" (the Ushuaia government obviously decided it would be a good idea to call everything "XXXX at the end of the world" as it's on every bloody building or stamp or shopping bag!)
It cost around 200 peso, which is around 40 euro ... not bad considering it's a good half-day out on a high-end catamaran.
This being Easter Sunday there were lots of elderly Argentinian tourists on board, including a pretty rowdy group of 80-somethings that were getting wasted and tangoing all over the boat!
The trip was great fun and we had perfect weather for it. We first saw a sea-lion colony, then passed by Puerto Williams in Chile. After all the hoopla about having to pay USD 250 to get down here, I managed to do it on a god-damned cruise for 40 euro! So having been within 400 metres of Puerto Williams I can now OFFICIALLY claim that I've finally been to the southernmost human settlement in the world (before Antarctica of course)
Finally after about another 1.5 hours in the Beagle Channel we got to see the lil' Penguinos (Humbolt Penguins to be exact) in their natural habitat. There were about 100 penguins on show (including some fluffy babies) but apparently during Jan/Feb there can be as many as ten times that amount on show. The catamaran even drove up onto the beach slightly, which was kind of odd, and I wonder do the penguins get freaked out .. but they seemed to not give a bother and even approached us out of curiosity.
After the cruise got back around 2pm, my next destination was the town's own glacier (all the town's tap water is drinkable and is sourced directly from the glacier).
It was a tough old hike, but I eventually made it to the top, and got to make snow angels on the first glacier I've stepped on since New Zealand all the way back in 2004! (I did SEE a glacier in Tanzania on Kilimanjaro last year though)