Early in the morning, heavy clouds covered the mountains and fjords when the sun tried to come through, creating an incendiary red-orange-yellow atmosphere. Most of the morning was decidedly wet. Winds from the southwest Pacific, charged with moisture picked up from the ocean, crash against the Andes and discharge all their might. Luxurious forests and glaciers can exist in these latitudes due to the weather systems. We found a number of seabirds and whales during the day as we navigated through one of the first protected marine areas of southern South América. We made our way to Puerto Natales, which will be our port of call for our visit to the world famous Torres del Paine National Park.
National Geographic Endurance
We returned a day early to Ushuaia to take refuge at the port before a storm arrived. The storm could have potentially delayed our port call, causing people to miss flights back to the United States. We took full advantage of the extra time in port and explored the beautiful surroundings of Ushuaia. In the morning, we ventured out to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego. We went on a few walks through the southern beech forests, saw the post office at the end of the world, and visited the Pan-American Highway, which ends in the national park and begins all the way up in Alaska. In the afternoon, we had another excursion to the opposite end of the town, up through Garibaldi Pass, and ending with a walk down to Lake Escondido. We wrapped up the day with farewell cocktails with the Captain.