Archive for the ‘Tours’ Category

GPS Tracking – The Path To Great Lamb BBQ From Ushuaia

March 6th, 2010 at 7:37 am (AST) by Jake Richter

Considering we were not even supposed to still be in Ushuaia yesterday, the folks at Lindblad Expeditions have been taking marvelous care of us – allowing us to remain in our cabins on board the National Geographic Explorer (which was supposed already have been several hundreds of miles away en route to dry dock in the Canary Islands), feeding us, entertaining us, and even providing us with free drinks. That will end later today as we get on the Miami Air charter (which Lindblad has also arranged for us at no charge) to get us to Miami. No other tour company I know of would have done all this for its guests. Kudos to Lindblad Expeditions!

The tour we were treated to yesterday was over the closest part of the Andes to Lago Escondido, and more specifically, to a small restaurant called Villa Marina, where we had wonderful BBQ lamb done in the local style, slow roasted for four hours (see photo in previous entry). Great scenic vistas and explanations of the geology and topology of the area by our guide along the way as well.

The GPS track for our Lamb BBQ quest is below in case any of you make it here, to the end of the earth (Fin del Mundo):

 

Maybe This Time, We’ll Be Lucky…

March 5th, 2010 at 7:05 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Latest word is that our plane is in the air, and will be in Ushuaia in the wee hours. Current plan is for us to fly out of Ushuaia at 1:30pm tomorrow (Saturday), and arrive in Miami at 3:30am on Sunday.

Hopefully this will be our last post (except for a GPS track perhaps) until we’ve landed in Miami, found a bed or two to sleep in, and gotten some rest.

 

No Magellanic Woodpeckers, And Also No Plane

March 5th, 2010 at 2:40 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

We just returned from Lago Escondido on the other side of the Andes mountain range here in Tierra del Fuego. Beautiful scenery along the way, and a spectacular roasted lamb for lunch, but no Magellanic woodpeckers to be found.

Roasted lamb in the Tierra del Fuego style - yum!

Roasted lamb in the Tierra del Fuego style - yum!

Returning back to the ship we found that in addition to there being no woodpeckers in sight, our charter flight to Miami was also in hiding.

Word is that the plane finally cleared all the Argentinian bureaucratic paperwork (there was a missing signature on a form, and that’s been the case for the last day), and should have finally departed Lima, Peru a few minutes ago, bound for Ushuaia.

This means we’ll be enjoying another night in the best hotel in Ushuaia, our ship, the National Geographic Explorer. It’s looking likely that we might actually leave tomorrow, but everything depends on when the charter flight actually lands in Ushuaia tonight (hopefully).

 

We Really Mean It This Time – We’re Going to Miami

March 4th, 2010 at 10:31 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

But we’re not going to Miami when we thought we would be. The latest update is that we’re not leaving Ushuaia at 7:30am as most recently planned. Since the Argentinian paperwork appears to have been even more bureaucratic than expected, our charter flight still had not left Lima as of a couple of hours ago, but the signs are very positive that they will actually get to Ushuaia tomorrow.

This is the long-tailed meadowlark - in this photo he seems to be pretty serious

This is the long-tailed meadowlark - in this photo he seems to be pretty serious

The new, updated, and revised plan is that we will now be leaving Ushuaia at 8:00pm on Friday evening, getting into Miami at 10:00am on Saturday morning.

And, since we get most of another day in Ushuaia (while staying in the “best hotel” in Ushuaia, namely the National Geographic Explorer), the folks here have been great in planning another excursion for us to a lake on the other side of the Andes mountain range here in Tierra del Fuego. Should give us an opportunity to see sled dogs and the elusive Magellanic woodpecker (seriously!). And we’ll be fed, several times, tomorrow too. We feel very well loved by Lindblad Expeditions. Not sure I can think of another company that would do so much, on their nickel, to make sure their guests got home safely. Kudos to all of you Lindblad folks!

 

GPS Tracking – A Day In And Around Ushuaia

March 4th, 2010 at 8:21 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Our unexpected full day in Ushuaia turned out quite nice. We started with a visit to the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia, located in the former prison which had been the core of the foundation of Ushuaia as a penal colony a long time ago.

We then wandered through the main shopping and restaurant portion of downtown Ushuaia – lots of tourist goods, a large number of restaurants offering all you can eat buffets (we didn’t partake), and tour companies offering trips to see penguins (been there, done that).

Lunch required busing to Patagonia Mia, a restaurant near the entrance of the Tierra del Fuego national park. While not bad, the meal we had there was perhaps the most disappointing of the trip – they only offered fish (cod) as a main course (we managed to get a breaded beef filet for Bas), and it was bland and uninspired. Quite a contrast from the diverse and almost universally great food we’ve enjoyed aboard the National Geographic Explorer.

After a quick stop at the ship, we took a two hour bus ride to Estancia Harberton. Estancia means “ranch” or “farm”, but while Estancia Harberton used to be a sheep farm and place where firewood was harvested, today it’s more of a historic site. On property is also the Museo Acatushun Aves y Mamiferos Marinos Australes, the Museum of Birds and Marine Mammals, which features the world’s best collection of marine mammal skeletons and skulls. Pretty impressive, although we had limited time available to truly appreciate the collection.

Our final dinner aboard the Explorer awaited our return.

We’re now just about thoroughly packed and ready to get up before dawn so we can leave Ushuaia just after dawn. We hope to be in Miami late Friday night at a hotel Lindblad has arranged for all of us on the charter. On Saturday we move to a nice hotel in Coconut Grove, a trendy area south of downtown Miami.

The GPS track for our day in and near Ushuaia is below.

 

GPS Tracking – Arriving in Ushuaia

March 4th, 2010 at 6:50 am (AST) by Jake Richter

Not much more to add to our post below. We arrived in Ushuaia last night. And we’re here for another night.

GPS track on how we got here is below: