December 20, 2005

Penguins at the End of the World

At 54 degrees south latitude, Ushuaia, Argentina is touted as the most southern city in the world. This is impossible to forget because Ushuaia has the best PR and signage for a city I´ve ever seen.

It is a popular destination for those embarking on Antarctic cruises (it takes 3 days to sail there). Otherwise, it is sort of a bleak, shipping port with not a lot to do. And freezing – though I should add I was recovering from a cold at the time.

The best part was we got to visit a penguin colony in the wild, and walk on the island where they breed (only 45 people a day are allowed, most tourists sail by on catamarans). There are just thousands of Magellanic penguins standing there, and completely unafraid of humans. Just chilling out. Completely ignoring us. It made me feel insignificant somehow.

We were warned by the tour guide that we couldn´t make any noise because “the biologists” would get mad. Those scary biologists… :)

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