Tierra del Fuego

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Tierra del Fuego
 is archipelago, at the southern extremity of South America. In shape the main island, separated from the mainland by the Strait of Magellan, is a triangle with its base on Beagle Channel. The total area is 28,473 sq mi (73,746 sq km), about two-thirds of which is Chilean and one-third Argentine. The boundary, agreed upon in 1881, follows the meridian 68°36¢38² W, from Cabo (cape) Espíritu Santo on the Atlantic, and the east–west Beagle Channel. Lennox, Picton, Nueva, and several small islands at the mouth of the channel are disputed between the two republics. 
Roads are poor in Tierra del Fuego, and there are no railways. Air services however, link major settlements to Punta Arenas, Chile, and Río Gallegos, Argentina. Sea communications are also important; a regular service links Porvenir and Punta Arenas, and naval vessels supply Ushuaia and the Isla Navarino, Chile.
There is little agriculture on the island, but oil and gas reserves have been developed. Many textile and electronic firms have been established at Río Grande and Ushuaia, the island's two main cities. 
 

Right after we arrived to Ushuaia we took a tour to Tierra del Fuego National Park.
By the Pipo River, in a outstanding place surrounded by mountains, stands the station of the Train of the End of the World. It belongs to the Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino (Southern Railway). It is a small train with capacity for 36 passengers that goes into the National Park with several intermediate stops in different panoramic points. The train uses the original terreplein of the old small train that worked until 1947 and that transported prisoners from Ushuaia's jail to the saw-mills where they worked daily. The steam trains have been specially designed and built in Argentina for this railway. The train goes through the Pipo River across the Quemado Bridge and makes its first stop at the De la Macarena Cascade. Here, you can see the reconstruction of the Indian campings of the Yamanas and Shelkman cultures, called "Rio Ajej", which recreates their customs. In the final part of the journey, along the Canado del Toro, there is a tourist circuit and 4.5 km from the departure point, you can either choose to continue the visit of the park by bus or to return to the station by train without stops. One of the outstanding parts of the park is the Lapataia Bay, the final point of the only road that goes from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, 3300 km away. Here, it is sometimes possible to embark and to combine the tour of the National Park with the navigation through the Beagle Channel.  Sailing across Ushuaia Bay, you can admire an impressive view of the city and the mountain range that surrounds it. At the end of the bay, the Chico Pass indicates the entrance to the mythical Beagle Channel with its history and mystery of old shipwrecks.

The End of the Transamerican Highway Koniec drogi.jpg (37801 bytes) Lapataia Bay.
We could not travel any more south
sTIERRA~1.jpg

The southernmost railway station

sStacja0.jpg (4645 bytes)

Beagle Channel

Trending east–west, is about 150 mi (240 km) long and 3 to 8 mi wide; it separates the archipelago's main island to the north from Navarino, Hoste, and other smaller islands to the south. At its western end the channel splits into two branches that encircle Isla Gordon. The eastern portion forms part of the Chile–Argentina border, while the western portion lies entirely within Chile. The three islands at the channel's eastern end, Picton, Nueva and Lennox islands, were the subject of a territorial dispute between Chile and Argentina that began in the 1840s and which almost led to war between the two nations in 1978. The dispute officially ended on May 2, 1985, when a treaty awarding the three islands to Chile went into effect between the two countries. The Beagle Channel was named for the British ship Beagle, in which Charles Darwin explored the area (1833–34).

Sea Lions sBeagle01.jpg (4670 bytes) Penguins
sLEWMOR~1.jpg (5569 bytes)

 

Ushuaia

 - is the capital of Tierra del Fuego provincia, Argentina, on the Beagle Channel. It lies on the main island of Tierra del Fuego Archipelago at the southern tip of South America.

The site was first settled by Wasti H. Stirling, an English missionary, in 1870. In 1884 an Argentine naval base was established, and in 1893, after the archipelago was partitioned between Argentina and Chile, Ushuaia was declared a city. Lumbering, sheep raising, fishing, and trapping are the city's principal economic activities. Ushuaia has the distinction of being the southernmost city in the world.

 

A view from mountainside General view sUSHUAI~3.jpg (4224 bytes)
Main Street sUSHUAI~2.jpg