Tuesday February 17, 2015 (Argentina, Patagonia, South America)
At last, we do something a bit more touristy in Ushuaia! Only a couple of full days left before our departure to Antarctica, so the crunch is on.
We took our American roommate Jenie (an artist from Madison, WI) and her Couchsurfing buddy Anna (Perth, AUS) on a trip up to this lake hike. It required a cab ride to the trailhead (and a negotiated agreement for a pickup 4 hours later), and involved some confusion about where the trail actually started. An employee at a campground near the start of the trail was telling us we needed to pay 30 pesos each to walk along the trail. But then he let it slip that if you walked back up to the highway and down the road about 200m, you could start the trail over there for free. Needless to say, we took that option!
The hike itself was quite pleasant! There was a fair bit of mud to contend with, but we managed. Although a bit chilly, the weather held up quite nicely for us. Until, of course, we reached the big payoff of Lake Esmeralda at the end of the trail. Upon arrival, the clouds immediately began to descend from the mountains above us and a mild rain commenced. Combined with the cold weather, we decided we didn’t want to hang out too long. We took some pictures at the lake complete with raindrop-covered lenses and started making our way back home. And of course, after ten minutes we turned around and noticed that the weather over the lake was beautiful once again. We were cursed! But this is how it goes, sometimes.
Overall, a lovely, straightforward hike on the outskirts of Ushuaia and well worthwhile!