Patagonia - Ushuaia - Day 5 / by Mark Boyd

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Ushuaia was cold.... Very cold indeed!  I was pleased to be sleeping in a dormitory for tonight.  Having searched the area we were living in for some food, looking to treat ourselves to a pizza after living from camp stove for 4 days, we later discovered due to there being some voting process going on nowhere was opening until 8pm.... This was too late.  It was 4pm now and we were both hungry.  Angela ordered some hot sandwiches from a takeaway delivery service. 

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Whilst eating Angela talked about doing the trek to Laguna Esmerelda..... I'd read it was a muddy, heavy 7 hour trek, but that aside the views of the lake surrounded by mountains were apparently worth it.  I wasn't that fussed, but it was something to consider.

 Early morning in Ushuaia.... Brrrrrrrrrrrr......

Early morning in Ushuaia.... Brrrrrrrrrrrr......

 It felt like the 'End of the World'.... Big ole town right behind me though!

It felt like the 'End of the World'.... Big ole town right behind me though!

The next morning we drove to the Tierra del Fuego National Park..... I brought my Olympus 70-300mm lens hoping to see some good bird life and I wasn't to be disappointed.  As soon as I parked the car up I walked over to a tree where an Austral blackbird was making a fuss..... But what was it making a fuss over?  This guy!!!!

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Yay!  I was stood right under a pygmy owl!  It was about the size of a chefs box of matches!  Amaaaaaazing!  Sadly it didn't hang  around long enough for me to get a great image for you guys, but I got a shot to share so don't be too disappointed!  So that was that, my day was made already..... Everything else would just be filler!  Hahahahaha!  

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The views around the park were beautiful, little trails looping and connecting around the place.  We spent around 3 hours exploring. 

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Angela talked about climbing the mountain behind the tourist information/restaurant.... There was a trail up and down, but I wasn't feeling it all.  Was I coming down with something?  I told her to go ahead if she wanted to do it, and that I'd happily chill out in the sunshine somewhere then meet her back here.  She then decided on the Coastal Walk which made more sense.  This meant starting from here. I'll drive down the road to where the most southern post box in the world stands..... and conveniently where the trail ends.  It should take a little over 3 hours.  I felt I could do with the rest.  So I drove for 10 minutes and then parked up overlooking the beautiful blue channel.....

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I then promptly fell asleep for almost 2 hours.... There was obviously something amiss.... Following the hefty power nap I felt a little better, though in all honesty could have continued snoozing.  The rain came in on and off, I hoped Angela had found shelter, she had a jacket with her, she'd be fine.  Once the rain stopped I decided to walk half an hour of the trail myself.  The sun had come out and it was warm.  I saw no one on my one hour jaunt out and back..... Perfection!  

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That evening we needed to find somewhere to camp, and after a couple of 'almost getting the car stuck in mud' scenarios we found a suitably flat spot in a valley on a river.  The car was once again used as a windbreak.

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Tomorrow we would tackle the 7 hour Laguna Esmerelda trail.... I hoped Angela would be up to it.