A gentoo penguin on Martillo Island
If you want to see some cute pictures of penguins please keep on reading this post.
On Monday the 15th, myself, Emil, and Peter went on a walking with penguins tour in Ushuaia.
It was incredible. This is the only guided trip I think we will do this trip, and rightfully so. Penguins are such majestic creatures and it made me so happy to be able to see them in the wild.
We left Ushuaia at around 8am and drove 1.5 hours to a place called the Haberton Ranch. Haberton ranch is the oldest European settlement in Tierra Del Fuego. In 1886, Thomas Bridges, a British missionary, established the ranch after he left the Royal Navy exploratory trip to Tierra Del Fuego.
In recent years, the ranch has been known for its incredible biological collection of Marine animals in the area, specializing in Marine wildlife. Natalie Goodall, the wife of current owner Thomas Goodall (great nephew of Thomas Bridges) collected thousands of complete skeletons in the area. She would go on to collaborate with Nat Geo until she passed away several years ago.
The collection was more incredible than anything I’ve ever seen in a large museum- Acatushun museum at Haberton Ranch.
After touring the museum, we took a short boat ride to Martillo island, home of the Penguins! We saw three different types of penguins; king penguins, Magellanic, and gentoo penguins.
Magellanic penguins on the shore of Martillo island. Magellanic penguins can grow up to 30 inches and 15lbs. There were several thousand Magellanic penguins on the island.
A gentoo penguin. These guys are the third largest species of penguins (behind King and Emperor penguins). Gentoo’s can reach 30 inches and 19 lbs.
We were incredibly lucky to see two King Penguins. It’s somewhat of a mystery why they were there, but it was amazing to see them. The closet large colony of King Penguins is in the South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia Island.
King Penguins are the second largest penguin species. They can grow up to 35 inches and nearly 40lbs.
To get back to Ushuaia we took a boat ride down the Beagle channel. The Beagle channel is named after the HMS Beagle, the boat famous for the exploration by Captain Fitz Roy and Charles Darwin.
Tierra del Fuego on the left (Argentina) and Isle Navarino on the right (Chile)
The Darwin Mountain Range as seen from the Beagle Canal.
On the way back we stopped at the Sea Lion Island!
Heading back into Ushuaia
Overall it was an incredible day. We really lucked out on the weather and it was amazing to see the penguins in a natural habitat.
On 1/17/17 we got to the town of El Chalten. From town you can see Mount Fitz Roy (Named after the captain of the HMS Beagle). The Fitz Roy massif is the basis of the Patagonia logo! Deep in Patagonia now!
Last night we had dinner with a group of very accomplished climbers. Everyone was so nice and while they were very much more advanced than we are, they congratulated us on getting out here so young and just going for it.
“You guys are the future of Alpinism, good on here for getting to the climbing capital of the world at 18”
Two groups we met are even looking to do the Ragni route on Cerro Torre (one of the hardest alpine climbs in South America.) Most of them have been here for a month or longer, and said there have been very few weather windows. However, this Saturday, and Tuesday- Thursday of next week are looking promising! If the weather stays, we’re going to be super lucky with the weather!
On Saturday we’re going to attempt a peak called Cerro Solo. The normal route (east face) is a rock scramble and glacier climb with a spectacular view of the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre massif. We’re going to do town to town-leave Friday night at midnight and get back Saturday afternoon. Earlier today we went to get our climbing permits. Permits were free! We’re stoked! It’s pretty awesome you can just start the approach from town.
We’re really in it now. It’s incredible. And I’m so excited. I’ve been here less than a day and I already know I’ll be coming back many times in the coming years.
The WiFi isn’t amazing in Chalten, so I wouldn’t be able to post as many pictures as usual, these were a few of my favorites from the Penguin tour.
Mount Fitz Roy as seen from ranger station in El Chalten.
I’ll post an update this weekend.
We’re truly living the dream.