All pho­tos pro­vid­ed by Frits Meyst.

The Clymb Adven­tures’ very own Mike Cooke trav­eled south to Tier­ra del Fuego to explore the bur­geon­ing adven­ture trav­el des­ti­na­tion at the very south­ern tip of the South Amer­i­can con­ti­nent. This windswept arch­i­pel­ago sits at the bot­tom of the mod­ern world, invit­ing adven­tur­ers to come and explore its incred­i­ble land­scape and culture.

Despite being such a remote loca­tion, Tier­ra del Fuego is still very acces­si­ble for trav­el­ers from all over, espe­cial­ly if you’re com­ing from the Argen­tinean side, which is far more devel­oped. Along their trip, Mike trav­eled with fel­low adven­ture trav­el indus­try pro­fes­sion­als on a guid­ed expe­di­tion through this remote des­ti­na­tion. To offer some insight into this new fron­tier for adven­ture trav­el, we’ve shared an excerpt from an arti­cle writ­ten by adven­ture and trav­el pho­tog­ra­ph­er Frits Meyst, who was a part of the journey.



Frits Meyst
Frits is a Dutch adven­ture and trav­el pho­tog­ra­ph­er who earned his spurs in black & white doc­u­men­tary pho­to­jour­nal­ism in Mid­dle East con­flicts. In 2004, he made a total tran­si­tion to trav­el and adven­ture pho­tog­ra­phy. Frits wants to inspire peo­ple to trav­el and expe­ri­ence oth­er cul­tures. That is why he found­ed 4ever.travel, a mixed media plat­form for adven­tur­ous peo­ple who love trav­el and ‘the great outdoors’.

 

 

Beyond the end of the world
“The man in the pilot seat looks over his shoul­der and says to us, “Wel­come onboard of DAP air­lines to Ushua­ia. Today will be a bumpy ride and you will hear all sorts of alarms go off. Do not be alarmed, it warns us of ter­rain, ice in the engine, and stalling.” With this encour­ag­ing mes­sage, I check the emer­gency exit, notic­ing the knob looked more like VW van door­knob than the lever to an exit door. Out­side the win­dow, a mod­er­ate storm rages just below. The twin pro­pellers roar and the Twin Otter moves into the wind, get­ting lift­ed up by an invis­i­ble hand. Every once in a while the bot­tom falls out from under­neath us. After one hour we drop out of the clouds and I watch ner­vous­ly as the pilot maneu­vers our plane toward its land­ing.  “Wel­come to Ushua­ia!” he exclaims, “This flight ter­mi­nates here and so does the Amer­i­can continent.”

“Many explor­ers with a lust for adven­ture came before us. Mag­el­lan, Dar­win, Shack­le­ton were all search­ing for Ter­ra Incog­ni­ta, the unknown lands. Instead they found Tier­ra del Fuego, the land of fire, the south­ern­most part of Argenti­na.” — Frits Meyst

“Orig­i­nal­ly named by ear­ly British mis­sion­ar­ies using the native Yamana name for the area, Ushua­ia is the cap­i­tal of the Argen­tine Province of Tier­ra del Fuego and com­mon­ly coined as the south­ern­most city on Earth. With a rapid­ly grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of about 64,000 peo­ple, Ushua­ia is a flour­ish­ing duty-free port with a fish­ing indus­try par­tic­u­lar­ly famous for its king crab. Nowa­days, Ushua­ia is the jump-off point for Antarc­tic expe­di­tions and also a major stop for cruise ships.”

“The Bea­gle Chan­nel is a strait in the Tier­ra del Fuego arch­i­pel­ago. It was named after Robert Fitzroy’s ship, whose sec­ond voy­age here brought along one soli­tary pay­ing pas­sen­ger, a young man who would rev­o­lu­tion­ize the way we view the world — Charles Dar­win. The Chan­nel was also defined as the south­ern bor­der between Chile and Argenti­na dur­ing the 1881 bound­ary treaty. How­ev­er, the treaty did not solve the prob­lem of three unin­hab­it­ed islands (Pic­ton, Lenox, and Nue­va) at the east­ern mouth of the chan­nel, and for many years the trio was claimed by both countries.”

“It was the Yamana fires that gave a name to Tier­ra del Fuego. The Yamana peo­ple were high­ly mobile and in their bark canoes, they trav­eled the chan­nels and water­ways, hunt­ing with har­poons for Marine mam­mals as well as fish. Despite the extreme weath­er they went through life most­ly naked, so it was vital that wher­ev­er they went, a fire trav­eled with them, hence the name ‘Land of Fire’. When encoun­ter­ing the Yamana, Charles Dar­win wrote in his diary: “these peo­ple going about naked and bare­foot on the snow.”

“All over Tier­ra del Fuego one can find traces of set­tle­ments and it is no dif­fer­ent here. Once upon a time, the refuge belonged to a thriv­ing estancia, sheep farm, but now the farm is noth­ing more than a derelict and over­grown mem­o­ry of the past. A faint hik­ing trail runs through the high yel­low grass past gnarly trees that have grown side­ways in the dom­i­nant wind direc­tion. The for­est thick­ens into a mix of dense bush that would be impen­e­tra­ble if it wasn’t for the old trail. A con­dor soars over­head look­ing for a cadav­er as we hike through the bush that abrupt­ly ends on the edge of a cliff with splen­did views over the Bea­gle Chan­nel. I can see why Dar­win was thrilled by the wild­ness of this strange land.”

To read the full sto­ry by Frits, check out his site here. 

To take a trip to Tier­ra del Fuego, check out the Clymb Adventures. 


 

southern hemisphere sports

southern hemisphere sportsEvery sea­son offers its share of out­door oppor­tu­ni­ties, but vari­ety is the spice of life. So if you’re pas­sion­ate about warm weath­er adven­tures and want to keep your end­less sum­mer flow­ing, check out some of these great south­ern hemi­sphere destinations.

Flo­ri­anópo­lis, South­ern Brazil
Boast­ing 42 gor­geous beach­es, Flo­ri­anópo­lis offers a mix of sandy spots that accom­mo­date a range of inter­ests. For fam­i­ly-friend­ly calm and pro­tect­ed waters, vis­it the peninsula’s west side. But if you’re look­ing to shred waves, make for the east­ern shore, where pow­er­ful Atlantic swells gen­er­ate excel­lent con­di­tions. Pra­ia Mole and Gal­heta, in par­tic­u­lar, are note­wor­thy surf spots. When you’re through sun­ning your­self, check out the fash­ion­able Beira-Mar Norte dis­trict, locat­ed on an island linked to the main­land by a bridge.

La Ser­e­na, Chile 
Stargaz­ing on a sum­mery Decem­ber night is an expe­ri­ence you’ll cher­ish for­ev­er. And there’s good rea­son con­stel­la­tion hunters flock to North­ern Chile’s La Ser­e­na. Thanks to the clar­i­ty of these south­ern skies, La Ser­e­na hosts the largest col­lec­tion of astro­nom­i­cal obser­va­to­ries in the world. About a third of the sky you’ll see here isn’t ever view­able from the hemi­sphere. Vis­it Cer­ro Tolo­lo Inter-Amer­i­can Obser­va­to­ry on a tour.

Abel Tas­man Nation­al Park, New Zealand
If hik­ing along a pris­tine and high­ly vari­able coastal route is your idea of par­adise, New Zealand has you cov­ered. Abel Tasman’s coast track is your per­fect escape. This 32-mile stretch will take you through lush veg­e­ta­tion, past waters that sparkle in trans­par­ent blues and greens, along some of the most beau­ti­ful views in the world. In the park, you’ll also find access to camp­ing, boat­ing, hunt­ing, and biking.

Byron Bay, Australia
Come surf, stroll, and loll in this gor­geous beach ham­let where San­ta Claus is more apt to appear on water skis than in a snow-dust­ed sleigh.

There’s plen­ty of activ­i­ty for all, whether you seek water sports, hik­ing, bal­loon­ing adven­tures, or fam­i­ly-friend­ly fun. Byron Bay is famous for its nat­ur­al beau­ty as well as for its awe­some hotels.

Syd­ney, Australia
Syd­ney is an unsur­passed site for urban explo­ration. From the icon­ic Opera House with its stun­ning har­bor view to up-and-com­ing cui­sine, you can indulge in cul­ture and sophis­ti­ca­tion with an Aussie accent. And when you want to shed your city chic to hit the waves, vis­it world-famous Bon­di Beach and get some tan lines in that warm Jan­u­ary sunshine.

Table Moun­tain Nation­al Park, South Africa
The stun­ning com­po­si­tion of moun­tains that rise from a sparkling stretch of coast would make Table Moun­tain an ide­al loca­tion any time of year. To enjoy the full scope of the view, take a ride on the Moun­tain Cableway.

From climb­ing and hik­ing to seclud­ed for­est pic­nics, there is no short­age of mem­o­ries to be made. Per­haps best of all among the park’s most vis­it­ed loca­tions? A world-famous pen­guin colony where you can observe African pen­guins up close in their nat­ur­al environment.

For the past 12 years there has been a race on the twist­ing, steep, and crowd­ed streets of Val­paraiso, Chile. For moun­tain bike rid­ers it com­bines all the ele­ments of rid­ing that test their skills: big airs, tech­ni­cal turns, speed in the flats, and han­dling obsta­cles such as stray dogs wan­der­ing onto the course.

The win­ning rid­ers need skills, of course, but per­haps more than any oth­er race this is a podi­um that dis­plays the rid­ers who have guts. And no video cap­tures the guts bet­ter than this one. 

A cou­ple of weeks back we talked about our favorite out of office reply that we have received.

I am cur­rent­ly on a white­wa­ter kayak­ing trip in the moun­tains of Chile until 1/1. My email access will be spo­radic at best, but I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Ian Buck­ley com­ment­ed on that post with a link to some of the amaz­ing pho­tos he took in Chile. We want­ed to share them.

Just an amaz­ing group of pho­tos, we want to thank Ian for shar­ing them.

If you have pho­tos of a trip or event that you want to share please feel free to send them in to kevin.p (at) theclymb.com. We would love to share them.

Don’t for­get about the Twit­ter con­test going on this week. Tweet to win one of three $100 gift cards to the Clymb.