|It's quiet, it's calm and there's no tourists, now we can relax the Tolhuin way
Now that our destinies are fixed we decide to escape from Ushuaia for a few days mainly as a change of scenery and to spend our last few days together somewhere nice. We seemed to have timed our exit correctly as it ended up raining the whole morning. Heading down the street to the bus station I had such great surprise to bump into Sarah and Leah, my Californian friends that I'd last seen when we spent 12 days cruising down the jungle rivers from Ecuador to Peru, just goes to show the travelling world is a very small one indeed.
A short 1 hour bus ride northeast of Ushuaia on the eastern shore of Lago Fagnano lies Tolhuin a sleepy little town that is just perfect for a short getaway although it was touch and go whether we'd have anywhere to stay as non of the taxi drivers seemed to know the address of where we had our reservation. Half and hour and a phone call later and Juan-Pablo a volunteer fireman is showing us around our own private log cabin which was a steal at 120 (£18) pesos, was huge and had everything you could want - got to hand it to Tamara, once again the girl done good, this was awesome. Quiet, calm and not another tourist in sight is how I can best describe Tolhuin and was a welcome change for the hustle and bustle of Ushuaia. Being here feels like taking a break from our holiday and it was so nice to sit around and do nothing, relax, get up late and while the days away as we pleased without having any specific agenda.
Well why do they call it 'land of fire' if you aren't allowed to start any fires then??
I did actually commit a big faux-pas though and nearly set the place on fire as I discovered that leaving the towel on top of a gas radiator isn't a good idea. First Tamara saw the smoke, then the smoke alarm started screeching and after bravely taking the burning towel outside and dousing it with water a potential tragedy was averted; although leaving a minor one, I now had no towel!
Trust me I'm sure we can get to the lake this way
Our second day we decide to at least try and do something active and venture out with the goal taking a walk around the Lago Fagnano but this turned out to be a little bit more adventurous than the 'Sunday stroll' we'd envisioned. Basically we got lost but since we still had the lake in view infront of us decide to press on through the fields in that general direction only to find that we were soon jumping barbed wire fences, trespassing across private land and finally clambering up a steep scree embankment to the safety of the Ruta 3 road which we then followed to the lake. We find a very nice hotel called Kaiken by the waters edge and splash out on a delicious gourmet meal before heading back this time skirting by the lake and following the proper route back.
Sadly had to leave our little hideaway after 2 great nights there and I was lucky that Juan-Pablo and his fire crew buddies didn't read me the riot act or charge me for cremating the towel.
It's so hard to say goodbye
Back in Ushuaia and after a crazy day of running around trying to organise things for the Antarctica trip. We decide to cook up something special rather than eat out as we'd recently been getting into the habit of cooking for ourselves. We feasted in steaks, roast potatoes and Tamara's great tomato, mushroom and red wine sauce, absolutely delicious and even better there's leftovers to enjoy it again tomorrow :-)
So for the forth and final time we end up having to part company and go our separate ways and considering we've been through this several times before it never gets any easier rather harder. So what can I say...
Well it's been great, it's been memorable and it's been unforgettable. All sounds very cliché but then there are times when the reality reflects the cliché. I set out on this journey to see the wonders of the Latin America solo and with great fortune found someone to share incredible experiences, magical places and breathtaking moments with. From the precursor when we were spurring each other on climbing Tajumulco (Guatemala), to trekking through the mystical temples of Tikal. To still one of the most unique and incredible days of my life that was the one more day in Belize where I had the most magical experience of my life swimming in the sea with sharks, stingrays courtesy of the Old Man, enjoying an incredible sunset and walking on the beach at night which topped off an unforgettable day. I could go on and on but too many things to mention, surfing and the joy of seeing you catch your first wave in Costa Rica, running for our lives from wild boars in the Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, unforgettable moments in the picture perfect San Blas tropical islands, Lost City treks and Tayrona sunrises in Colombia, all of the past weeks in Argentina and Chile with a special mention for Pucón which I loved and Torres Del Paine which still rates as one of my top achievements that we camped, trekked and cooked our way through 5 days to see the towers.
But the bottom line is I honestly don't think the trip could have been any better with anyone else. Infinita gracias!!