Ushuaia 

Well to be fair the town of Ushuaia is a bit of a dump. However the scenery around the town itself is absolutely breathtaking. The claim to fame is that it is the most southern city in the world and is an access point to Antartica which is only a two day boat ride away and when the wind is blowing you can believe it.
The place is growing at a huge rate as well, in the last five years the population has increased from 60k to 90k. This is mostly due to the fact that the government has declared the area as tax free on electronics so manufacturing companies have moved in.
Enough of the facts…we didn’t quite know what to expect on arrival but as the bus wound itself through the mountain range surrounding the town we were treated to some amazing views of the national park. Ushuaia doesn’t sit right on the ocean, it is on an inlet so therefore a bit more protected although the wind was still pretty biting! The views out along the inlet are beautiful, with the mountains starting right at sea level.
We only had a couple of days here and wanted to have a bit of a rest of the legs while we were here too so decided to pack as much as we could into day one.
We began by hiking up to see the glacier, well to be fair we caught a taxi most of the way up to save time (and our legs). When we got there the info center wasn’t overly helpful but pointed up the mountain and told us just to get going, so off we went.
The hike up was fairly steep and soon enough we were trudging through the snow. The views back over the town and water were fantastic but as we arrived at the view point of the glacier we were somewhat disappointed. To be fair we have been a little spoilt of late in terms of glacier views. Luckily there was a sign telling us where the glacier was otherwise we would have missed it. In fact our host in Puerto Natales had warned us that it wasn’t a proper glacier but even so we still enjoyed our lunch looking at the mountains out in the fresh air.
We had been told that the hike all the way down to the town was worth it and that rather than following the road down we should follow a stream instead. We had three hours until our next trip so we thought we had plenty of time. We asked again at the tourist information where the path down to the town started and they said that the path was easy to find. Well we thought we found the path and we could see a stream that we were following so thought we were all good.  
The path soon disappeared and we were a little lost. But there were no snakes or nasties here so we just soldiered on and eventually found a spot where we could cross the stream and eventually found a road and made it back to civilization.
Just in time for our trip out to see the penguins. This was wonderful as there was little to no wind and we caught a catamaran out through the inlets enjoying all the scenery. It really is a harsh part of the world yet really quite beautiful at the same time.
I wouldn’t say we saw a huge colony of penguins but there were enough there to keep us amused, and amused is the right word as they are really quite funny to watch walking around.
The wind picked up on the journey back and our walk back to the hostel was absolutely freezing and this is meant to be spring!!!
Day 2 was our “day off” well as much as trying to book a bus in Argentina can be a day off!! But still we got it all sorted out and had a lovely relaxing day. From here the only way is north so off we go!!! T

   
A couple of views of Ushuaia.  Somehow it really does look like the end of the world.

    
The path up to see the glacier, waterproof shoes would have been better.

 
Not exactly the most impressive glacier you will see but apparently it’s in this photo.  Still it was a great spot for a quick sandwich 

   
The view back over town

 
Above you can clearly see the path down, below is what it turned into.

   
 
A couple of views around Ushuaia 

   
 
Some great views from the boat, lighthouses, sea lions and cormorants.

   
    
    
These penguins were just hilarious to watch, we could have spent all day there easily.

   

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