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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesAntarctic blog → Har­ber­ton – 07 Febru­ary 2018

Har­ber­ton – 07 Febru­ary 2018

As much as we lon­ged to get ashore after almost a week on the boat, the land did not want us today. We knew the sound of the wind good enough, so I did not even have to lea­ve my warm bed to know what was going on out­side. Wind, wind, wind. We had been ancho­red sin­ce mid­night in the bay at the Estancia Har­ber­ton, loo­king for­ward to go ashore, to explo­re some of the green hills of Tier­ra del Fue­go, to walk on land again.

But the­re was a back­door which ser­ved us well. Up went the anchor and we set cour­se for Ushua­ia, making the last miles of this trip on board Anne-Mar­ga­re­tha. Once along­side, we went to get the paper­work (immi­gra­ti­on) done and enjoy­ed a cosy evening on board. Next mor­ning, we took to ren­tal cars for an excur­si­on to Har­ber­ton. Cars and – to some degree – roads are available in Tier­ra del Fue­go, we were not in Ant­ar­c­ti­ca any­mo­re, so let’s take advan­ta­ge of that! And that included being able to stop whe­re­ver we felt like it during the trip out, a good 90 kilo­me­t­res on the road. And the­re is some gre­at land­scape in Tier­ra del Fue­go and Pata­go­nia! Moun­ta­ins, wide val­leys, wet­lands, wild rivers, and … trees! We had almost for­got­ten that trees exist, after 3 weeks at sea and in Ant­ar­c­ti­ca. Ama­zing trees. Wind-bea­ten, bent dou­ble and tri­ple, knag­gy and knot­ty, awe-inspi­ring beings. Very impres­si­ve, very pho­to­ge­nic.

A gre­at appe­ti­zer for a lot more of Patagonia’s ama­zing land­scape (if you want more – we have still got some space on our Pata­go­nia trip with Anne-Mar­ga­re­tha in March!

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Har­ber­ton its­elf also tur­ned out to be a very inte­res­t­ing place. Foun­ded in 1886, it is the oldest farm in the Argen­ti­ne part of Tier­ra del Fue­go. The foun­der, Tho­mas Bridges, must have been a bit of a cha­rac­ter. He was found as a 2-year-old on a bridge (hence the fami­ly name) in Eng­land and later beca­me a mis­sio­na­ry. He lear­nt Yama­na (Yah­gan), the indi­ge­neous lan­guage of Tier­ra del Fue­go, and wro­te a dic­tion­a­ry (30,000 ent­ries) and grammar wit­hout which we might not know much, if any­thing at all, about this lost lan­guage. Sheep far­ming had always been important for Har­ber­ton, but was aban­do­ned in the mid 1990s after seve­re win­ters, so today’s inha­bi­tants of the farm, which is still owned by Tho­mas Bridge’s des­cen­dants, are focus­sing on tou­rism to make a living. As a result, we could enjoy the Casa de Te (tea house) and an inte­res­t­ing gui­ded tour to see the colo­ni­al-style his­to­ri­cal buil­dings, remains from the times of acti­ve far­ming, the old, pic­tures­que ceme­tery on a hill within a litt­le forest, lichens han­ging down from the trees. Blue ski­es, white clouds, blue water, white hor­ses. A beau­tiful day.

The next day would not bring more than say­ing good­bye and fare­well, so this was in a way the end of our gre­at trip to Ant­ar­c­ti­ca. Some­thing that we cele­bra­ted duly in one of Ushuaia’s fine restau­rants. What an adven­ture! Refer­ring to the who­le trip, of cour­se, Ant­ar­c­ti­ca under sails. Big thanks to tho­se who were part of it, and thanks for rea­ding! Tra­vel­ling in the south and the blog will con­ti­nue in a few weeks from now in Pata­go­nia.

last modification: 2018-02-14 · copyright: Rolf Stange