Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 206: Ushuaia

For Valentine's Day we enjoyed the beautiful 17 degree weather by hiking up one of the hills that surrounds Ushuaia. This gave us a nice sense of the town and great views of the bay it sits on.

This hike is one that you can do from town for free. We opted to save our knee joints by taking a taxi the 7.5 km from our hostel to the base of the mountain, which is used in winter as a ski hill. There's an option to take the chair lift the first third of the way up, but we saved our pennies and started hiking instead, which included a lovely walk along a bubbling river with a few cute bridges crossing back and forth. Coming from the Rocky Mountains, it wasn't an overly strenuous walk, and you certainly weren't alone (with frequent glimpses of the chair lift above), but it was nice enough.

Looking In Towards the Glacier

Looking Out Towards Town and the Beagle Channel
At the top, we by-passed the chalet with a restaurant and reasonable views, and continued on another kilometer to a fork in the path. Here, almost everyone was heading deeper into the valley to reach the glacier. We, on the other hand, turned right and followed a boot-beaten trail back out towards town. We passed only a few hikers and found ourselves a nice picnic spot at the end of the trail with sweeping views across the town. Our lunch of choritzo, cheese, olives, and wine was the perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day (and our 3.5 anniversary)!

After the hike, we took a few hours to relax at our hostel while catching up on the Olympics we'd missed that day. We ducked out after dinner to see if there was another spectacular sunset, but it was quite cloudy, and the wind had picked up, so the views weren't quite as good. We took a few minutes to enjoy it all the same.

Erin was excited that Ushuaia is filled with lupins, just like Prince Edward Island, back home. We were impressed with how full the blooms were considering how cold it gets each night.

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