Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Southern Cone of South America

I am sorry I was not able to post pictures from my recent South America trip with Smithsonian Journey's. I experienced some computer problems and/or was in places with limited or no internet service (yes, places like that still exist). But here are a few now with more to follow.

This was taken from my room at the Las Yamanas Hotel on the shores of the Beagle Channel. The photo was taken in Ushuaia, Argentina but across the channel is Chile. The channel, named after the ship Charles Darwin sailed in these waters, is the international boundary. The hotel is named after the world's southernmost people, the Yamana's, now gone except for one surviving person. The mounds in the foreground mark the former site of a Yamana camp.

On the grounds they have reconstructed a Yamana hut as it might have looked along the shores of the channel in the 19th century. I gave a lecture about these people as we sailed on the Stella Australis in these waters.

Argentina will not let go of the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands and this full-time, gas-flame memorial pays tribute to those lost in the war in 1982.

Ushuaia has many old houses that line it's streets. The city is known as the southernmost in all the world.

A quiet bay within the boundaries of Tierra del Fuego National Park. Both Chile and Argentina place national parks on their international boundary, as a way to further discourage war-like flare-ups of old animosities. Their boundary disputes are legendary and they almost went to war in 1978 over the boundary. The parks then are used as deterrents to war and so far, it has worked.

The world's southernmost post office is located on a colorful pier in this bay.

These are the rocks of southern Tierra del Fuego. They are metamorphosed sediments deposited in an oceanic trench environment. This trench was quite similar to the modern Peruvian-Chile Trench and formed when South America first split from Africa, some 150 million years ago. The sediments were subducted and metamorphosed, then stretched out to the east to their current position.

This is the official end (or the beginning) of the Pan-American Highway in Tierra del Fuego National Park. One day I do want to travel this highway from Alaska to Argentina.

And then, it is time to board the Stella Australis for a four day cruise around the southern cone. I'll be posting pictures and stories for the next few days.

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