The End of the Road, Not the End of the Journey – Ushuaia

On March 5, 2016 we made it as far south as we can go, at least in Titus. We added up over 30,000 miles in about 18 months to arrive in Ushuaia the southern-most town in South America. When we left in 2014 our goal was to travel before settling down and starting a family, and I think we’ve checked the travel box! As we are thinking about things today, the benefits of this past year and a half of travel really haven’t been the places we’ve seen. If we are being honest the world seems a lot more similar and less unknown than we expected: Surfline, iOverlander, Trip Advisor, OpenStreet maps, essentially, the Internet has most places pretty much mapped out. I recommend traveling with a great travel novel like Barbarian Days to really see how different our parent’s generation had it. That doesn’t mean the world is any less beautiful, just don’t be surprised when a tour bus pulls up to your amazing camp spot in Patagonia or when you see a new condo development going up in front of a previously quiet central american surf spot.

Although a lot of the unknowns are gone, what travel will always be great for is self-reflection and the chance to step back and look at your life. We replaced bad habits with good ones, we learned a new language, we dedicated time to yoga, surfing, kitesurfing, reading, writing, cooking and meditation. New friendships formed and we now value experiences over more money or more things. Especially over owning new things.

I want to do a follow up post of some lessons learned, but right now it’s time for a cheers – to never having any dangerous moments, to meeting honest and helpful people everywhere we went, and to pulling it off while keeping our relationship intact through the highs and lows.

The obvious question is, now what? Well, we’ve already shipped Titus back to the states (we are sadly going to sell our dependable home there) and we are renting a cabana in the beach town of Matanzas, Chile, a place we love, until we fly home at the end of May. We also have to tell you, in a future post, about an amazing rock climbing trip we recently did in Argentina, our farming experience, and a 10 day silent meditation retreat coming up….

We’ll be in the states from June to September and we are so excited to spend time with our friends and family that we miss so much! Our plans for after September are up in the air right now…but one thing is for sure, we are likely derailed from the straight and narrow…

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We left our jobs in July 2014 to drive to Ushuaia. It truly has been a journey of personal transformation

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Estamos Aqui!


What to do in Ushuaia? Ushuaia falls in a region called Tierra del Fuego, a region known for its fierce winds and desolate, isolated terrain. Tierra del Fuego also spans Chile and Argentina, making crossing borders a regular occurrence when you are driving to Ushuaia. Before making it all the way south, I was SUPER excited that there was a King Penguin colony that decided to settle in Tierra del Fuego and was determined to stop for a visit. These big guys (second biggest penguin after the Emperor Penguin) were never found north of the South Georgia islands in Antarctica… until 2011 … when sixteen king penguins decided to call this place home. There are now over 100 penguins living in this colony, and I can’t believe we got to witness these funny animals walking around and caring for their young.

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These King Peguins started showing up in 2011 from Antartica and now there is a thriving colony in Tierra Del Fuego

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The sheep and King Peguins bonding. I assume there were no sheep in Antartica

We left the penguinos behind and headed due south. The landscape started to change from the flat desolate landscape to beautiful mountains, and we stopped for a quick hike before heading into the large and surprisingly beautiful town of Ushuaia that sits along the Beagle Channel, the jumping off point for all those lucky ones who are headed to Antarctica. While we won’t be heading that far south (we have to save something for the bucket list), we did feel quite accomplished as we beamed in our photos next to the Ushuaia sign. We made it!!

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Jenine thanking Titus for hauling us all the way down here. You are a champion

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Tierra del fuego - a little hike on the way to the end of the continent

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Hiking in Tierra del Fuego - Laguna Esmeralda

We heard about the Tierra del Fuego National Park nearby and decided to head there to camp. We were again lucking out with some beautiful weather and awesome camp-spots. We even managed a 5 hour hike up to a 360 degree lookout point and felt like we were on top of the world. I can’t say enough good things about this park. There are really beautiful day hikes and great camping areas in the park, definitely worth a stop if you make it to this end of the continent.

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Enjoying the view of Tierra del Fuego National Park below, from Cerro Guanaco

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Looking back down on Ushaia from the top of Cerro Guanaco

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A carpintero - woodpecker!

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Tierra Del Fuego National Park

Up until now our primary mode of transport had been Titus, with George behind the wheel. We decided it was time to give both van and driver a much needed break, and booked a ferry the 1,000 miles from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt, Chile. Both places we had been to before, but the fjords (waterways) along the coast of this part of Patagonia, Chile we had yet to explore. The hope was to see some beautiful landscapes, and maybe, if we were lucky, whales. It turned out we weren’t that lucky with marine life, but we certainly fared well with the weather and amazing sunsets. And it was just nice to relax, read, and meet some other interesting travelers on the boat for 4 days.

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Motoring through the fjords off of Chile

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We lucked into crystal clear conditions

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Don't blow away there!

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The sunsets from the deck were spectacular

George and I also had ample time to talk about how to finish off the next two months in Chile before flying home on May 27th. We decided on a rock climbing trip in Bariloche, planned a few days working on ab organic farm, a 10 meditation retreat and more surfing in our favorite place, Matanzas Chile. We sure like to cram every last bit of fun in while we can 🙂 More on that later.

Hasta la proxima!

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King Penguins in Tierra Del Fuego

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These King Peguins started showing up in 2011 from Antartica and now there is a thriving colony in Tierra Del Fuego

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The sheep and King Peguins bonding. I assume there were no sheep in Antartica

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Peguins in love

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It was fun chatting with this furry guy

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The landscapes of Patagonia

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Hiking in Tierra del Fuego - Laguna Esmeralda

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Tierra del fuego - on the way to laguna esmeralda

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We left our jobs in July 2014 to drive to Ushuaia. It truly has been a journey of personal transformation

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Jenine thanking Titus for hauling us all the way down here. You are a champion

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The pretty port town of Ushaia

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Tierra Del Fuego National Park

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Looking back down on Ushaia from the top of Cerro Guanaco

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Enjoying one of the best Hikes in Tierra Del Fuego on top of Cerro Guanaco

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Jenine enjoying the view of Ushuaia below, from Cerro Guanaco

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Tierra Del Fuego National Park

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A carpintero - woodpecker!

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Jenine cooking pizza with our new system where the car door blocks the wind

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Grilled pizza, an overland classic!!

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mr fox on the prowl for food

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Tierra Del Fuego National Park

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Estamos Aqui!

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Furthest south you can camp in a Titus

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To head north from Ushuaia, we decided to give Titus a rest and take the ferry!

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I clearly have cabin fever

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Motoring through the fjords off of Chile

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moseying up through the coast of Chile

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We lucked into crystal clear conditions

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The fjords of Patagonia

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On deck of the Navimag

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Shipwrecked

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Making new friends on the boat

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Don't blow away there!

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Sunset Patagonia Fjords

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Honeymooners Jen and Will

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The sunsets from the deck were spectacular

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King peguins waddling along

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Crusing through at high speeds

Posted in Argentina, Chile Tagged with: , , , ,
7 comments on “The End of the Road, Not the End of the Journey – Ushuaia
  1. Aunt Patty says:

    You inspired me. For Uncle Jim’s birthday, I gave him a two day hike for both of us. There are six people and a leader. We carry everything in and out. I know it is not as tough as what you two have completed, but it is a beginning. Thank you for all you shared with us. You two are beautiful people. We love you and can’t wait to visit : )

    • Jenine says:

      That is so awesome Aunt Patty!! Can wait to hear about your hike! Iḿ so excited for you guys. It will be tough but so worth it in the end. Enjoy!

  2. Jason, Kim, Eli, and Ezra says:

    Congratulations!!! Following along with the blog over the past year and a half has been really interesting and rewarding. We never would have guessed the places and adventures you’d experience after we parted ways at playa norte near the beginning of your trip. If you are ever in the Seattle area, be sure to let us know!

    We’re doing another big road trip this fall down through the southern California deserts. Who knows, maybe we’ll cross paths again?

  3. Molly says:

    Juan and I have been talking about heading down to Bariloche to do a bit of climbing when we go to Argentina again later this year too! I’d definitely love to hear more about where you guys went and what the routes were like.

  4. Johnny Daly says:

    Business casual hotel rooftop happy hour with a looming steak and scotch reservation. It’s the sunset…of the future. Welcome home!

  5. Meg says:

    Cheers to you two! To the trip! To the change in life! To love, to travel, to those penguins!! Cheers and congrats to such a safe and beautiful trip! Much love to you both! Keep the blog going!!