If you go to Patagonia's southern tip, hold onto your jaw as it is likely to drop.
|A swath of color briefly illuminated the Beagle Channel, which was stunning even when shrouded with clouds and rain threatening. The channel is three miles wide at its narrowest point and 150 miles of awesome length.|
Our two-week cruise on the Celebrity Infinity had the over-the-top amenities that make cruising popular—major eats, entertainment, swimming and soaking pools, a casino etc. etc. etc. But without the trip highlights, which, for us revolved around wild Patagonia, it would have just been two weeks on a floating buffet.
But I am grateful to have seen this historically fascinating and visually dazzling collection of fjords, mountains, glaciers and waterfalls at the very tip of South America's Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.
|This one doesn't quite make it.|
|We saw all of the above and more the same day that we hiked to Laguna Esmeralda! Even though the ship didn't leave Ushuaia until around 4:30 p.m., it was still light enough to see the sights in the Beagle Channel until around 11 p.m. We're talking 17-18 hours of light. Is there such a thing as too much natural light? I don't think so.|
|This is about it for vegetation in the channel and the fjords. However, indigenous people once lived here, and some early explorers escaped scurvy by foraging. In one account, a young Charles Darwin on the HMS Beagle, described seeing a naked woman suckling an infant. Sleet was melting on the woman's body and also the infant's. He was horrified. The region's weather is typically harsh. Other accounts report that the indigenous people coated their naked bodies with seal oil as protection from the elements. Others report that seal skins were used as protection. In any case, it was an existence difficult to fathom.|
|This photo was taken near where when the ship took a sharp north turn toward Punta Arenas, which is located on the Strait of Magellan. We enjoyed similar scenery for several days back-to-back. It got so that I felt guilty if I wasn't tethered every moment to our balcony, or at least a north-facing window. Or on Deck 4, where nature lovers without balconies congregated wrapped in parkas and wool scarves. |
Is there such a thing as too much natural splendor?
No. But there IS such a thing as not enough time.
Get it while you can!
Earlier posts about our South American travels
Around Cape Horn - Happy 2018!
Ushuaia, Patagonian peat moss, and a polar plunge