May 2018 ttimes web magazine

Page 54

The End of the World

tooned with geese and swans under a mixed sky of striking white, blue and gray clouds. After driving past the stunning landscape, we stopped at the Alakush Visitor Center for refreshments and to purchase gifts. We sampled empanadas, a Latin pastry puff dish ~ beef for John and vegetable for me ~ and local beer. It was a tasty lunch. We learned from our tour guide t hat TdF is separated f rom t he mainland of Patagonia by the Strait of Magellan to the north. It is shaped like a triangle, with Beagle Channel at its base and the Atlantic to its east. Popular activities in the Park are birdwatching, camping, cycling, fishing, hiking and skiing. There was great excitement at noon the next day as we left Beagle Channel and embarked for Antarctica. We skirted Cape Horn, an icon of sailing culture for centuries. We

1920, the lighthouse is still operational, guarding the sea entrance to Ushuaia via electronic remote control. Sea lions, penguins and shore and sea birds also make the island home. S ad ly, t he c at a m a r a n c r u i s e ended too soon for those of us who wanted to see more, but we disembarked at a dock in the TdF National Park and boarded a comfortable motor coach to explore the unique island scenery. The 735,522-acre park spans the borders of both Argentina and Chile and is peppered with dramatic fiords, forests, glaciers, lakes, meadows, mountains, peat bogs, ponds, rivers, volcanoes, waterfalls and f lora and fauna. Snow-capped mountains covered in verdant, sub-Antarctic forests towered over shimmering lakes fes-

52