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My final post for this adventure into the Patagonian fjords of Chile focuses on the very wonderful food we were served aboard the Australis. We received three meals a day in the ship’s dining room mostly (as I recall) buffet style, including hearty breakfasts with a large choice of items, a tasty lunch, but no question the highlight of our culinary day was dinner. We had four dinners aboard the Australis and I found each of them photogenic enough to be “documented”. I never planned on making a blog of what I ate, so I didn’t photograph everything — just those items that looked wonderful (and were!)
Besides the very tasty meals, the service of our crew throughout the ship was …
Our final stop before the Australis headed to port in Ushuaia was at historic Wulaia Bay, a pretty spot visited by many navigators over the centuries.
The area around Wulaia Bay has long been settled by man, with archaeological studies showing evidence of human habitation for more than 10,000 years, these being the nomadic Yahgan aboriginal people. The Yaghan population was strong 150 years ago but today has been largely decimated; less than 2000 individuals remain.
The famous British exploration vessel, HMS Beagle, visited the area twice. The first time was during her 1826 – 1830 voyage wherein Captain Fitzroy charted many of the channels in the Patagonian fjords, making for safer sailing of the region. The return journey lasted from 1831 …
After an interesting morning exploring Pia Glacier and its surroundings, we returned to the Australis as she continued her journey. Our next attraction didn’t require leaving the Australis and could actually be enjoyed from the deck of our ship. We were to navigate through what’s commonly called “Glacier Alley”.
Situated along the Beagle Channel, Glacier Alley is a string of massive and picturesque glaciers that extend to the sea from the massive Darwin Ice Field (which covers 2500 km2) on Isla Grande, the largest island in Tierra del Fuego. These glaciers are named after several European countries — Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France (in Spanish — Holanda, Italia, Alemania, Espana and Francia). If it seems a little odd that …
After our morning hike in Tierra del Fuego we returned to the Australis for lunch and some rest, during which time our ship re-positioned itself in Ainsworth Bay. Our afternoon excursion was to be entirely on a Zodiac. This is obviously a slower process than zipping us onshore for the morning’s hike as the supply of Zodiacs was limited.
The Zodiacs took us to a small cluster of islands known as Tucker’s Islets. These lie within the Strait of Magellan and are rich in bird life (note: Magellan was the Portuguese explorer who visited this region 500 years ago). We would slowly circle these islands in the Zodiac to observe the different types of birds, slowing to a stop when possible, …
There’s a fascinating leg of our Patagonian journey which I haven’t shared with you yet. We took a 4 day cruise into the Fjordlands at the southern end of South America, mostly coastal Chile and a bit of Argentina. This journey into Tierra del Fuego was a truly memorable adventure!
The cruise began at the Port in the frontier town of Puenta Arenas, Chile. Here we boarded the Chilean-owned adventure ship, Australis, which was to take us to the “uttermost end of the earth”. Australis is an expedition cruise company specializing in exploring the waterways of Tierra del Fuego, including the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel. The Australis is relatively small, carrying only about 200 passengers, which is very much to your advantage …