Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia, Isla de Magdalena and back to Munich

Jan 25th 2023 - Ushuaia

"Ushuaia, fin del mundo, principio de todo." - "Ushuaia, end of the world, beginning of everything."

Tierra del Fuego

Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of South America. It is divided between Chile and Argentina, with humans settling on the island around 8,000 BC. Petroleum extraction dominates the northern part of Tierra del Fuego, while tourism, manufacturing, and logistics rule the south.
The name was given by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1520, who believed he was seeing the many fires of the Yaghan visible from the sea. Robert FitzRoy brought four native Fuegians to London in 1830, while Charles Darwin also visited the islands on his voyage with HMS Beagle.
During the second half of the nineteenth century, the archipelago began to come under Chilean and Argentine influence. Anglican and Salesian Catholic missions were established on the islands, leading to increased immigration and conflict with the native Selk'nam and Yaghan people. In 1881, the Boundary Treaty of 1881 divided Tierra del Fuego between Argentina and Chile, leading to the founding of settlements such as Ushuaia, Río Grande, Porvenir, and Puerto Toro.
In 1945, a major oil discovery in the northern part of Tierra del Fuego led to the creation of ENAP (National Petroleum Company), and sovereignty claims by Argentina over Picton, Lennox, and Nueva Islands in the 1960s and 1970s led the two countries to the brink of war. In 1986, the Argentine congress declared the Argentine part of Tierra del Fuego as a new province, which was finally made official in 1990.

Jan 26th 2023 - From mountains to prison


Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego and is located on the Beagle Channel, surrounded by the Martial Glacier mountain range. It is the southernmost city in the world, with a population of nearly 80,000. Ushuaia is an administrative and light industrial port, as well as a tourist hub, being one of five internationally recognized Antarctic gateway cities. The area was first inhabited by the Selk'nam Indians, also called the Ona, and Yaghan (also known as Yámana) about 10,000 years ago. Ushuaia was founded informally by British missionaries in 1833 and was originally named by early British missionaries using the native Yámana name for the area. The name Ushuaia first appears in letters and reports of the South American Mission Society in England. Thomas Bridges was the first European to live in Ushuaia and he wrote a dictionary of the Yaghan language, the original manuscript of which is in the British Museum.
In 1873, Juan and Clara Lawrence became the first Argentine citizens to visit Ushuaia. The establishment of a penal colony in Ushuaia was promoted by Julio Argentino Roca, who later served as Argentine President twice. Gold prospectors came to Ushuaia in the 1880s, though the rumors of gold fields were false. On 12 October 1884, the South Atlantic Expedition established the sub-division of Ushuaia with Don Feliz M Paz as Governor of Tierra del Fuego. Ushuaia suffered several epidemics that much reduced the native population. By 1911 the Yámana had all practically disappeared and the population grew to 1,558 by the 1914 census.
In 1896, the prison received its first inmates, mainly re-offenders and dangerous prisoners transferred from Buenos Aires, but also some political prisoners. The two prisons merged in 1910, and that combined complex still stands today. The prison population thus became forced colonists and spent much of their time building the town with timber from the forest around the prison. They also built a railway to the settlement, now a tourist attraction known as the End of the World Train (Tren del Fin del Mundo), the southernmost railway in the world.
In 1947, President Juan Perón closed the prison by executive order in response to reports of abuse and unsafe practices. It later became a part of the Base Naval Ushuaia and was then converted into the current Museo Maritimo de Ushuaia. The naval base at Ushuaia was active during the Falklands War of 1982.

Early morning: sendero de glacier, about 9km one way from my Hostel, with impressive views ( other camera). Museum in an old prison in the afternoon. 

Jan 27th 2023 - A stroll along the beagle channel

Beagle Channel

Beagle Channel is a strait located in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago between Chile and Argentina, which connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It is about 240 km long and 5 km wide at its narrowest point, with the largest settlements on it being Ushuaia in Argentina and Puerto Williams in Chile.
According to a Selk'nam myth, the channel was created when slingshots fell from the sky during Taiyín's fight with a witch. Navigation is permitted for other nations through the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1984 between Chile and Argentina, and there are several islands in the channel, such as Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, Hoste, Navarino, Picton and Nueva, Snipe Islet and Gable Island.
The channel was named after the ship HMS Beagle during its first hydrographic survey of the coasts of the southern part of South America, which lasted from 1826 to 1830. Yaghan peoples settled the islands along the Murray Channel approximately 10,000 years ago.
The Beagle conflict between Chile and Argentina occurred in the waters of the channel from 1950s to 1970s, with several incidents such as the 1958 Snipe incident, the 1967 Cruz del Sur incident and the shelling of Quidora, until the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1984 was signed.

Very cloudy and some drizzle, spending the day along the shore and not in the mountains. 

Jan 28th 2023 - Back in Punta Arenas

... same place where I left my bike. I seem to pick the days of celebration and party. We call it an Asado...

Jan 30th 2023 - Yellow Submarine

Always a pleasure to see a reference to great musicians. Reminded me of a trip 9 years ago to Scotland, Durness, and John Lennon spending time up there. Now at the other end of the world.

Jan 31st 2023 - Isla Magdalena

Isla Magdalena and Marta can be reached by boat. I did that excursion this morning. Many tourists and looking at them with some distance, they were hard to distinguish from the penguins at the island, when they waddle behind each other slowly around.

Isla Magdalena

Isla Magdalena is a small island in Chile's Strait of Magellan that is year-round occupied by a small force of Park Rangers. It is part of the End of the World Route, a scenic touristic route, and is home to the largest penguin colonies of south Chile, including an estimated 60,000 breeding pairs of the Magellanic penguin. It is managed by CONAF (National Forest Corporation of Chile) for both tourism and sustainability of the penguins.
The island was inhabited by the Selknam, Yaghan and Kawesqar pre-Hispanic cultures until the 16th century when it was given its current name by Spanish explorer Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa.
In 1966, the Pingüinos Monument was established to protect the Magellanic penguin population from the threat of fishing. The monument was named a protected area in 1982 and has seen success due to its 30-kilometer no-fishing zone. Besides the penguins, other notable fauna includes imperial shags, sea lions, South American fur seals, dolphin gulls and common gulls.
Despite the success of the monument, the Magellanic penguin is still close to becoming a threatened species due to habitat loss and resource scarcity. Additionally, erosion, dust storms caused by drought, and climate change may pose threats in the future.
Additionally, the risk of an oil spill from boats passing through the Strait of Magellan also poses a threat as it could have a serious negative effect on the penguins.

Feb 2nd 2023 - Hernando de Magallanes

The Nao Victoria is a full-scale replica of Hernando de Magallanes' ship and can be visited in a museum in Punta Arenas. An Australian tourist pulled the trigger on an historic firearm through a misunderstanding, lost in translation and a 5cm hole... could have been worse, if he fired one of the ship's canons.

Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who led the 1519 Spanish expedition to the East Indies across the Pacific Ocean. He died in the Battle of Mactan in 1521 in present-day Philippines. The expedition was completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano, who circumnavigated the Earth and returned to Spain in 1522.
Magellan had left Portugal and proposed the expedition to King Charles I of Spain, who accepted it. He was appointed an admiral of the Spanish fleet and given command of the expedition, and was made Commander of the Order of Santiago, one of the highest military ranks of the Spanish Empire.
The fleet sailed from Sanlucar de Barrameda, in southwestern Spain, across the Atlantic Ocean and down to South America. It then passed through the Strait of Magellan and into the Mar del Sur, which Magellan renamed the Pacific Ocean. The expedition reached Guam and the Philippine islands, where Magellan was killed in combat. Elcano completed the circumnavigation by sailing westwards via the Indian Ocean and up the Atlantic coast of Africa, returning to Spain in 1522. This marked the first complete personal circumnavigation of the Earth.

Feb 3rd 2023 - Pack up

The bike is ready for transport. On my way to a ferreteria I visited the German Feuerwehr, bomberos 
From Punta Arenas to Santiago and a long flight to Madrid and on to Munich.