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Scandinavian Hiking Extravaganza

August 10, 2013

Having quit my job in early summer and not having the heart to jump into a search right away, I decided to spend a month in Scandinavia hiking. I got the idea from a book called Classic Hikes of the World by Peter Potterfield, which had a great description of the Kungsleden (the KING of Trails) in Northern Sweden and decided to do bit more hiking while I was at it.

This is what I did:
Flew into Stockholm (leaving my non-hiking bag at my hotel)
Flew from Stockholm to Kiruna (northern Sweden, the gateway to the Kungsleden)
Took the train from Kiruna to Abisko and hiked the Kungsleden to Nikkaluotka (approximately 105km) also summiting Kebnekaise, Sweden’s highest mountain.
Flew back to Stockholm, picked up my bag, and took the train to Oslo.
Joined a week long guided DNT tour of Jotunheimen National Park (included the Besseggen Ridge and a failed attempted at summiting Glittertind (bad weather)).
Took a self guided fjord tour including hiking to Preikstolen.

While it was a great vacation, in retrospect I wish I had done a little less jumping around, and I wish I had spent more time in the north (as the south was super crowded).

What I wish I had done
Flown from Stockholm to Kiruna and hiked the Kungsleden (as I did).
Taken the train to Narvik (Norway), the bus to Bodo, and maybe visited the Lofoten Islands.
Taken the overnight train to Trondheim, and either done some hiking in that area (Trollheimen is supposed to be lovely), or found my way to Jotunheimen from Trondheim.
Then spent a couple days relaxing in Oslo and Stockholm before returning home.

The problem with that itinerary would be finding places to store non-hiking gear while in the parks, but I’m sure it’s doable. Also, if I had the money I would have loved to visit Svalbard.

Full write up of the Kungsleden
Full write up of Jotunheimen
Full write up of Preikstolen

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Outside Moves Me

July 11, 2013

Hey everybody Vote For me!

I entered a photo contest through MEC with pictures from my Chilkoot Trail trip last year.

Vote for me and I could win an arctic hiking trip! And would get fodder for even more posts!

The End!

British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast

June 6, 2013

Smuggler Cove Panorama

With the arrival of spring and a short visit from my dad on schedule, I decided to tackle one of the best short vacation destinations near Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast!

The Sunshine Coast, although being on the mainland, is only accessible by a 40 minute ferry ride. The ferries leave regularly from Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver). Attractions are quite spread out along the coast, so a car is definitely recommended.

The area is divided into two segments: The Lower Sunshine Coast, which effectively begins with the City of Gibsons (former home of the television show The Beachcombers) and ends at the ferry terminal of Earls Cove, with the town of Sechelt in between. The Upper Sunshine Coast, which ranges from Saltery Bay to Lund, contains the City of Powell River. To get to the Upper Coast, an additional ferry ride (from Earls Cove to Saltery Bay) is required. My dad and I stuck to the Lower Coast and fairly arbitrarily decided to stay in the Madeira Park area. We were very happy with the location. It was sparsely populated, but still had a grocery store, a liquor store, two breakfast places, and a pizza place (which is all you need really).

The Sunshine Coast is probably best known for outdoorsy activities. Though there is logging in the area, the lack of a connecting road to the rest of the mainland has preserved much of the wilderness and maintains a relaxed attitude. There is not, however, significantly more sunshine than Vancouver, which makes me think it was named the SUNSHINE Coast purely as a tourism ploy. It being spring, we were treated to partly cloudy weather with occasional outbreaks of actual sunshine (so we got some use out of the rental Fiat 500c’s convertible top).

There is a famous backcountry hiking trail on the Upper Coast called the Sunshine Coast Trail, which has always been on my to do list. However, given time limits for our trip we were limited to day hiking, golfing, and kayaking. We tried to get out on a fishing tour, but everyone we contacted was either out of town or spot prawn fishing. I’m sure during peak season this wouldn’t be a problem.

Due to an intense business trip, I didn’t really do a lot of research on what there was to do in the area. For the most part we found hikes nearish to where we were staying based on information we got from the hotel. As hiking is a big draw to the area, once you get to the trailhead, information about the trails is clearly posted and most trails are clearly marked.

The Trails

Skookumchuck Narrows – A 4km trail leads to two viewing points of one of the fastest tidal rapids in the WORLD. The hike starts near the small town of Egmont and is one of the more popular hikes on the coast. The trail itself is quite nice and would make a decent trail run.

Homesite Creek Loop – The trailhead can be a little difficult to find, but two trails leave from a small roadside parking lot. We took the 2km southern loop which gave us a beautiful view of Homesite Falls. There are also caves in the area, but we couldn’t find them.

Smuggler Cove – A couple kilometers of trail lead you to a beautiful, secluded cove that has genuinely been used by smugglers throughout the ages (including smuggling booze into the US during prohibition, you’re welcome Americans). There was also a nice campground along the trail.

Francis Point – Another shortish trail that ends at a lighthouse with views of Vancouver Island. The park here is pretty new, and the trails are a bit more rugged.

Cliff Gilker Park – Contains a few different shorter loop trails with beautiful waterfalls. We chose this park as it is next to the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club and we had to wait for a tee time (due to an actual sunny day).

Sunshine Coast Mosaic

Golf Courses

Pender Harbour Golf Club – A 9 hole golf course in the Pender Harbour/Madeira Park area. One of the more interesting courses I’ve ever played. The terrain is rugged, one of the holes had such a steep hill the cart path required switchbacks. Lots of fun! Golf carts STRONGLY recommended.

Pender Harbour Golf Course

Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club – A more traditional 18 hole golf course between Gibsons and Sechelt. We chose to play 9 holes, but due to the layout of the course got to play 11. Tee times recommended especially if the sun is shining. This one is walkable 🙂

Kayaking

There are many kayaking tours in the area, but we opted to rent kayaks from our resort, which was conveniently located on Pender Harbour. If you’ve never been kayaking before, this probably isn’t the way to go. Even with handy maps given to us by the resort, it could be tricky to figure out exactly where you were in the harbour. I brought along my GPS watch and have posted the route below.

Kayak Route - Pender Harbour

So spring may not be the typical time to visit the Sunshine Coast in terms of weather, but given that it is the shoulder season and much less crowded than summer, it might just be one of the best times to go.

Half Dome – Yosemite

May 1, 2013

The Dome and The Valley

Last October, a few friends of mine decided to take a road trip down the west coast to California, which two of us thought was a perfect excuse to finally hike Half Dome. Half Dome is a 16 mi (25 km) out and back hike with about 4800 feet (~1450m) of elevation gain in Yosemite National Park. The trail itself is well marked and straight forward, though you can decide between taking the John Muir Trail and the Mist Trail for part of it. The John Muir option is longer, but less steep. A Park Ranger convinced us to take the Mist Trail up and the John Muir back. It’s not necessary, but if you are a map nerd like me, you can pick up a National Geographic Map of the Park.

THE DOME

The most infamous part of the trail is THE CABLES, which take you up to the summit of the dome. There are plenty of videos of ascents/descents of the cables which I avoided watching because I have a reasonable fear of heights and didn’t want to psych myself out. It is very steep, requires a reasonable amount of arm strength, but doable. I recommend bringing a pair of gloves. If you are particularly scared of heights, you can hook into the cables with climbing gear. I went without as I didn’t think of it and I don’t have any climbing gear anyway, but if I were to do it again, I would probably invest in some carabiners and rope for peace of mind.

Up? The Cables

The Cables are generally open late May to mid-October, but can open late or shut down early depending on weather conditions. We chose to do the hike the last week The Cables were up and were rewarded with beautiful weather and few hikers.

Permits are required to hike the upper portion (the dome) of Half Dome. These can be difficult to come by in the peak season (mid-June to August and long weekends) as only 300 hikers are allowed on the dome per day. 250 of these are distributed in a preseason lottery, which is held in the month of March. Otherwise you must apply two days before you wish to hike. Either way, you must go HERE to apply for permits. As I didn’t plan ahead, this meant applying the day before I left San Francisco to drive to Yosemite and not knowing if I would be able to hike until the morning we left. Fear not though, if you can’t get a permit there are still plenty of beautiful hikes in the park, though none as iconic as Half Dome.

So Half Dome, difficult, moderately terrifying, but worth it!

REWARD!

The Chilkoot Trail

August 17, 2012

Mysterious Chilkoot

The Chilkoot Trail has always been high on my dream hike list mainly due to its history (also because of the location). From 1896-1899, the Chilkoot Trail was the main artery leading poor disillusioned stampeders over the Chilkoot Pass to the Klondike gold fields. In 1899 a rail line was put in over White Pass and the trail was mostly abandoned until it received National Historic Site status and modern day hikers got the crazy idea that hiking the trail might be fun!

The Trail itself is approximately 53km (33mi) long and is usually done in 3 to 5 days. A few people run or speedhike it in one. I was hiking with a group of relatively inexperienced hikers, so the 5 day option was chosen. The logistics of getting to and from the trail are fairly simple, the hike is not exceptionally difficult (excepting the day you cross Chilkoot Pass), and the trail is really well marked, so I think it is an acceptable hike for people with limited experience. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that is does cross the US-Canada border, so you need a passport, the hiking season is kind of short, and there is a quota system, so you might want to book ahead.

I decided to do the hike at the end of July, as it is generally regarded as the best (least snowy) time of year to do so. That being said, there was more snow the previous winter than usual, so we still faced quite a bit of snow around the pass. My group was all Canadian, so we all flew into Whitehorse, took the bus down to Skagway, picked up our passes at the trail office, overnighted at a converted brothel and were dropped off at the trailhead the next morning by our innkeepers. Again, the hike itself is fairly simple but the trail end has the challenge of not ending at a road. It ends at Lake Bennett, where the Stampeders would have built boats to take them to the Yukon and fortune! A brave few modern hikers have recreated this part of the journey, but the rest of us have two options. Taking a scenic train ride OR the infinitely more awesome option of taking a float plane. The float plane is of course more expensive, but if you aren’t too budget conscious it is a reasonable option, especially for larger groups (up to six). And of course with the float plane option you have the advantage of being picked up whenever you want (pre-arranged of course, no phone service in Bennett) and not having to wait around for the train, which doesn’t come every day of the week. So yeah, my group went for the float plane pick up 🙂

I’ll divide the trail into three sections based on the three ecosystems you’ll find and assuming you are hiking the trail from Alaska to Canada (as most people do).

Section 1: Dyea (pronounced DIE-EEEE!) to Sheep Camp (18.98km)

This section is Pacific Northwest Coastal Forest. Most people will hike this in two days, staying in the Canyon City campground the first night and the Sheep Camp campground the second. It can be done in one if you are fit. Both campgrounds were very nice. Canyon City had a nice cabin with a porch and chairs! Sheep Camp had platforms to set your tents on (protip: bring extra rope to tie your tent to the platform).

The trail itself is a bit variable, one minute you’ll be climbing a hill, the next you’ll be heading back down the other side, with flat sections here and there. At the end of the day you gain about 300m total elevation in this section, but with the up and down it feels like more than that.

Section 2: Sheep Camp to Happy Camp (14.08km)

This is THE DAY. The day you cross Chilkoot Pass and enter Canada. You have to do it in one day as there are no campgrounds in between. It’s a pretty steady ascent to the pass (770m overall). Most of the morning you hike alongside a river/waterfall. The scenery is probably amazing normally, but we were literally hiking inside a cloud so it had a cool mysterious feeling. This day you hike out of the Coastal Forest and into the Alpine Tundra. You will very likely hit large snow patches here and hiking poles are heavily recommended.

The first thing of note you will reach is “The Scales”. It is very near the pass, though if you are hiking in a cloud as we were, you won’t be able to see it until you’re right at it. This is the point where the Stampeders had to weigh their gear to make sure they had enough supplies to be allowed entry into Canada. It is also the point where most people would get their first look at “The Golden Stairs” and would abandon anything they thought they wouldn’t need, so there are a lot of neat artifacts. This is where the modern hiker will learn that “The Golden Stairs” are actually just a big steep boulder pile. It is difficult for the unconditioned, but for me it was just super fun. I had a smile on my face the whole time and made it to the warm up cabin on top of the pass in about an hour. The warm up cabin isn’t heated, but it is still not a bad place to hang out and wait for the rest of your group. Here you can pat yourself on the back and know that the hardest part is over, but don’t stay too long because you still have 6.6km to get to camp!

It’s mostly downhill from here, but there were a lot of snow patches for us, so it’s slower than you might think. This is where our luck changed, the sun came out, our clothes dried off, and we could finally witness the beautiful mountain valleys.

Happy Camp was definitely a sight for sore eyes at the end of the day and is very aptly named. The tent sites here are on platforms as well. Though surprisingly there was no wood stove in the shelter.

Section 3: Happy Camp to Bennett (20.1km)

In this section you will leave the Alpine Tundra and cross into the Subalpine Boreal Forest. Most people do it in two days, but again you could do it in one if you are fit. The trail here is a bit variable, up, down, flat, but not overly difficult. It’s a really nice stretch of trail, but I don’t really have a lot to say about it otherwise. Just nice hiking. For us, the snow patches ended around Deep Lake. We stayed at Lindeman City and Bennett campgrounds. Both were nice, had wood stoves in the shelters, and had cool graveyards. Lindeman City has an exhibit (and a geocache!) at the Lower Campground, which is worth a visit. There you can get your Chilkoot Trail certificate.

Chilkoot Mosaic

Notes:

–          The National Geographic map for the Chilkoot Trail is really really nice. Not 100% necessary as the trail is pretty well marked, but if you love maps like I do, I recommend it.

–          As previously stated, hiking (trekking) poles are highly recommended. I was silly and didn’t bring mine, and ended up getting a new pair in Skagway.

–          Gaiters are highly recommended as well, there are a lot of small stream crossings in the Alpine Tundra where the water level can juuuust get above boot level.

–          There are bears in the area. A few people we were hiking with spotted black bears between Lindeman City and Bennett, but there weren’t any problems. Just use “common bear sense”.

–          If you’ve forgotten something that you realize you will desperately need on the trail, there are outdoors stores in Skagway (Mountain Shop) and Whitehorse (Coast Mountain Sports). I had to buy hiking poles, gloves, and a toque in Skagway because I somehow didn’t think I’d need these things on a snowy mountain hike? Kudos to the rangers doing the orientation who reminded me 🙂 Kudos to the rangers in general! They were all great!

–          For the rockhounds, there is a sweet rock shop in Skagway called the Back Alley Rock Shop. I was limited in only getting things I would carry across the pass (for the best!) and picked up two really nice necklaces.

Spring 2012 Hiking Round Up

July 16, 2012

Lookout

Spring this year had me stuck in the office doing the old 9-5 routine, so my hiking has been limited to day hiking. Luckily I live in Vancouver, so I’ve had plenty of amazing options.

Stawamus Chief

“The Chief” is approximately 45 minutes drive from Vancouver in the lovely little town of Squamish. The hike is pretty tough, 11km to all three peaks and back with a total ascent of ~800m (though I found different websites had different numbers). Parts of the trail are steep, and chains and ladders have been bolted in place. This means on a busy day sections of the trail will be very crowded and slow moving, as both ascenders and descenders. I found that the trail to the first and second peaks were quite well marked, but I would have had trouble finding the trail to the third if I weren’t following someone who knew where they were going. The trail is generally open March to November, basically good as long as there is no snow. I found the toughest part of the trail was the descent from the third peak, it was about 600m of pure descent on granite stairs and boulders and my legs were not very happy with me for this for a few days. All in all, with lots of snack and picture breaks, it took us about 4 hours and was definitely worth it.

The First Peak From The Second

Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake is in the Whistler area. It’s approximately 18km out and back with approximately 800m of ascent, but the ascent is mainly on switchbacks, so it’s not so harsh. It can be done as a day hike, or combined with the Black Tusk and Chekamus hikes for multiday hiking. It is ideally hiked in July to October, but I hiked it in June when there was still a fair amount of snow on the trail (snowshoes would have come in handy). It was a very different hike with all the snow, but very beautiful and well worth it. Even with all the snow, plenty of people were camping out and I wish I had brought my tent too! I definitely want to go back and summer and do the whole deal.

Garibaldi Lake - Early June

Lynn Canyon

Lynn Canyon is a jewel of a park located in North Vancouver. It is accessible by bus from downtown, though it takes a while to get there. I’ve been trail running in the park over quite a few weekends in the last couple months and haven’t taken the same route twice. One of the main attractions to the park is a FREE suspension bridge, though my favourite run was up to Norvan Falls. It was a 17km run out and back from the End of the Line General Store and Cafe, it was pouring rain that day, but it was still amazing. I don’t have many good pictures as I don’t run with anything but a cellphone camera, but it’s well worth the visit.

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge Norvan Falls

THE Grouse Grind

Probably Vancouver’s most famous hike, and yet I lived in the city for almost 8 years before hiking it. It gets a bit of a mixed review, some people don’t like it because it’s very popular with tourists and mostly goes through forest. The BCMC seems to be more of a favourite with locals. However, it is a run club tradition to run from your house to Grouse Mountain on Canada, and I decided to join. Most people started in Mount Pleasant (myself included), as this is the only way it’s fair to those who live out in the suburbs. We ran along roads to the base of the Grind (16km, 50m ascent) then hiked the Grind (2.9km, 850m ascent). So after all that my Grind Time was rather slow at 1 hour 16 minutes. I thought it was a rather nice hike actually, and I was very glad there was beer at the top and a gondola to take me back down.

Well deserved beer

So that’s what I was up to this spring along with training for a half marathon and working through the logistics for hiking the Chilkoot Trail.

Hiking in Patagonia – The Easy Way Out

February 5, 2012

After a busy year of work I had the chance to take the whole month of November off of work to go wherever I pleased. The two places on the top of my travel list were Patagonia and Siberia. Given that it was winter in Siberia and summer in Patagonia I did the sane thing and began planning a hiking-centric trip to Patagonia. I even managed to get a friend to come along. However, I was faced with two issues. I didn’t have a lot of time or resources to plan the trip and my friend and I had different levels of hiking skills. So we took the easy way out and decided to join a hiking tour.

We picked a tour that spent considerable time in the two places I wanted to see most, Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile and Tierra Del Fuego in Argentina. This tour also included a few days in Los Glaciares National Park, which I had never heard of, but ended up loving.

Overall, my experience was positive. The most difficult thing I found was hiking with a group of people whose fitness level was varied. The tour recommended an “elevated level of fitness”, and everyone on the tour was reasonably fit, but the group ranged from a guy who cross country skied across glaciers to a few people who were older and shorter legged. That’s the thing about tour groups; you’re stuck with a random group of people you’ve never met. So there will be people you click with, and people who drive you nuts. In the end, I did less hiking than I would have if I had designed the trip myself, but I got to go places I would never have gone on my own, and I didn’t have to worry about logistics.

Though I didn’t have to worry about the logistics of this trip beyond getting to and from Buenos Aires, I did work out some plans for a future trip to Torres Del Paine which I will share. Taking a bus to the park from Buenos Aires (Argentina) or Santiago (Chile) is generally not recommended. The distances may not seem great, but it is a very, very long ride. On my tour we flew into El Calafate, Argentina and took a bus to Puerto Natales in Chile. The bus ride was very nice and not super long, though I can’t remember which bus company we took. When I go back, I think I will fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas, Chile. Flights to both cities are frequent and not insanely expensive. From Punta Arenas you can take a bus to Puerto Natales, and arrange a shuttle bus to the park. Puerto Natales is the gateway city to the park, and you can rent or buy gear there at not unreasonable prices. From here you can take an all day bus ride to Ushuaia (Tierra Del Fuego). There are also cruises, but they are pricey.

Los Glaciares National Park

The base town of Los Glaciares is El Chalten. It is a small resort town with many hotels, restaurants, and outfitters. Most hikes in the park begin just outside of town, no vehicle is needed.

We arrived later in the day to the park, and spent our first afternoon hiking to Cascada Del Salto (waterfall). It was quite nice, fairly easy, and gave me a chance to get to know my new tour mates.

On day two we hiked to one of the jewels of the park, the Laguna De Los Tres trail to a spectacular view of Cerro Fitzroy. This hike was a bit more taxing, as there was significant elevation gain to view point, but we all made it. We lucked out with sunny weather and had a relaxing lunch (ham and cheese sandwiches) near the frozen lake before heading back down. This hike can be combined with others to make an overnight hike.

Laguna De Los Tres - Cerro Fitzroy

Our third day in the park was a free day with optional activities. I chose an all day glacier walk and ice climbing expedition at nearby Viedma Glacier and could not have made a better choice. I had never ice climbed before, and must admit it wasn’t at the top of my to-do list, but it was so much fun. We lucked out with a small group of only six people, so we each got a lot of climbs in on three different set ups. After lunch (ham and cheese sandwiches of course) we went for a short trek over the glacier, and at a particularly scenic spot were treated to Baileys with glacial ice.

Viedma Glacier Climbing

The main activity of our final day in our park was a guided tour of the Perito Moreno Glacier, which is particularly impressive as it is one of the few glaciers in the world that is not receding. We took a boat ride to one face of the glacier, then were bussed to the other face to view the glacier from a series of walkways. It was beautiful, though after a while I was a bit glaciered out.

Perito Moreno Glacier

Torres Del Paine
**Note: there was a fire in Torres Del Paine in December 2011 (after I was in the park) and I’m not sure on the condition of the trails.

Torres Del Paine is one of the main reasons I wanted to go to Patagonia. It is home to the infamous “W” and full circuit hikes. Alas, it was not my fate to do the full hikes on this trip, but we did a few arms of the W as day hikes based out of camp sites. I intend to come back and do the full circuit, hopefully next year. Logistically, you can hike the trails staying in campgrounds or refugios, some of which have dorm beds. The campgrounds we stayed in had cafeterias, though I don’t imagine that’s true of all of them.

We started off our first day with a short hike to Salto (waterfall) Grande and a boat ride across Lago Pehoe to our campground at Mountain Lodge Paine Grande. We quickly changed into our hiking boots and headed off on our first hike to, surprise surprise, another glacier. This time Grey Glacier. The hike was moderate and the glacier was very nice. We arrived back our camp to find our tents had been magically set up for us and dinner was ready at the cafeteria. A good first day and I woke up in the middle of the night to some of the most amazing stars I have ever seen in my life.

Grey Glacier

Day two began out of the same campground and the visual theme switched from glaciers to mountains. We hiked through the beautiful French Valley to a viewpoint of stunning Paine Grande. The hike was moderate and consistently beautiful. We ate lunch (ham and cheese sandwiches of course) within view of the mountain and hiked back down to Lago Pehoe.

Hiking to Paine Grande

We took a boat ride back across Lago Pehoe and were shuttled to campground number two. This one was a private campground reserved just for our group with a pisco sour reception in a geodesic dome and private chefs. And of course with tents set up for us before we arrived.

Campground #2

We saved the best for last in Torres Del Paine, as day three took us to a look out to THE Torres Del Paine, granite spires surrounded by glaciers. This was also the most difficult hike of the trip, which honestly isn’t overly difficult as a day hike. There is moderate elevation gain at the beginning of the trail; it levels off for a while; then there is a steep ascent over boulders to the viewpoint. We arrived at the Torres to find it with clouds at the very top of the spires. As the weather in Patagonia is fickle at best, we decided to eat our sandwiches (salami and avocado!) and hoped the skies would clear. Alas, it was not to be, the clouds never cleared, but it was still gorgeous. We hiked back down the mountain to our shuttle bus and left the park for Puerto Natales.

Mirador Los Torres

Tierra Del Fuego (Ushuaia)

Our final destination of the trip was the Southernmost City of the World, Ushuaia, which is on the island of Tierra Del Fuego. To get there, we overnighted in Punta Arenas (with a side trip to a Magellanic Penguin Colony) and took a day long, cross border bus ride. I believe this bus only runs a couple of days a week. We arrived in Ushuaia late, but just in time for supper. Here we came across another group who was doing the same tour we did, but it was their last night in town. It was nice to meet another group of people, and I will spare you the pictures of the night out at the Irish pub, as I don’t even remember the arm wrestling, but I have photos of it on my camera.

The only planned activity for us in Tierra Del Fuego was a morning boat ride along the Beagle Channel. It was a pleasant ride where we got to get close to islands of sea lions, terns, and nesting cormorants and we got a complimentary shot of coffee liquor. We had the rest of the day free to explore the city of Ushuaia. Tourism is prevalent is Ushuaia, as it is the gateway to Tierra Del Fuego National Park and is also the base point of Antarctic cruises, but it shipping is also a major industry. The seafood there is amazing, crab restaurants are abound. Night two took us back to the Irish pub and again the photos are terrible, but I remember taking them all.

Beagle Channel

Our last day in Tierra Del Fuego was a free day, so the majority of our group joined a canoe and hiking excursion. The canoeing turned out to be rafting down a calm river to the ocean, but most of the people in my boat were hung over so it was for the best (even though I made us crash into a rock and we kept getting beached). They gave us wine at lunch, so luckily the hiking was pretty easy. We had an animated guide and I got to eat a “Pan del Indio”, which is a weird orange globule that grows on trees and tastes like nothing, absolutely nothing (I still get weird cravings for it). Night three took us to the Irish pub for the last time, and again the photos are unreasonable and I will not share them.
The next morning was a fairly early (and painful for some) flight back to Buenos Aires, where I parted with my new friends.

The Parque Nacional Sign