Archive - January 2016

Hawkeye January 2016 January 12, 2016

Chile is an immensely long country: 3000 miles down the lower spine of South America. It's the most southern section, Patagonia, which also encompasses part of Argentina, which is referred to as The End of the World. It is truly one of the most remote, thinly populated places on earth. The Chilean gateway is Punta Arenas, a small city but Patagonia's most important one. The ships cruising through the Strait of Magellan depart from there. Magdalena Island is the home to over 65,000 breeding pairs of Magellanic penguins, also called Jackass penguins. They stay from October to March to breed and raise their young.

Chile is home to about 2000 glaciers. One of the most impressive was in Condor Fjord. The blue ice is said to be over 500 years old. A young Andean condor settled on the rocks. Their massive wingspan can reach over 10 feet and is considered the largest flying bird on earth.

In contrast to some of the stark landscape are the bonsai-like trees found on the low mountains bordering Occasion Sound.

The ever-present snow-capped Andes, glaciers and icebergs convince you that you are much closer to the South Pole than the Equator. Ushuaia, Argentina, the capital of Tierra Fuego in Patagonia is the southernmost city in the world and is only about 700 miles from Antarctica. Patagonia has a wealth of natural treasures worth taking the time to explore.