Peggotty Bluff in King Haakon Bay, our first day on land in South Georgia, was a nippy 28 degrees Fahrenheit. But that wouldn’t stop us from going onshore to get our first view of king penguins, elephant and fur seals. Behind us, the tallest peak obscured slightly in clouds, is the 4,000ft peak of Mount Cunningham. And then three glaciers, two which have receded up the peaks, and the other on the far left coming down from the Murray Snowfield. At the opening of King Haakon Bay, Cave Cove on Cape Rosa, is where Ernest Shackleton and his men first set foot on South Georgia, from their epic 800 mile journey across the Atlantic from Elephant Island. This my friends, was in a 22.5 foot sailboat, on open ocean water in the winter. I repeat, a 22.5ft sailboat, open ocean water, winter time, the Southern Atlantic Ocean of dead winter, no GPS, only wet drenched maps, and barely any food or water. And we thought we were cold, bundled up in multiple layers of clothes with wind/waterproof jacket and pants.
Peggotty Bluff at King Haakon Bay, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Google Maps Location photo was taken from: 54°8'45.065" S 37°16'58.805" W
All along the barren expanse of Highway 23 leading into El Chalten, you slowly start to get teased with seeing the tip top of Mount Fitzroy. And that's really dependent on weather conditions, for most of the time clouds are hiding this majestic beauty. On this day driving in, the clouds just parted way to show her off. I immediately pulled over and somewhat risked life and limb to get this shot. Not only did the road rise upwards behind me, obscuring any view of oncoming traffic, the 60-70mph winds blocked out any sound of cars and the speed limit was pretty much non-existent here. Getting my settings set curbside, I would run out quickly, plop my camera on its tripod in the middle and fire off a burst of shots, and haul ass back. I was pleasantly surprised on how it turned out, considering the rush I was in the whole time.
Driving on the east side of the park, these were the views we were treated to at every turn. Beautiful rolling hills of farmlands, that first range of slow rolling brown scruffy hills and then the majestic mountain range of the cuernos. The Torres del Paine peaks stood proud and tall this day, of which two of three are in view, with the hidden one slightly peaking out from behind the clouds on the left. The tallest peak of the three, by a slight amount, is the hidden one behind the clouds called Torre Sur standing at about 8,200 feet. To its right in the middle is Torre Central at 8,100 feet and then to its right, Torre Norte at just under 7,500 feet. These and the whole Torres del Paine range of granite peaks were deeply and violently eroded by glaciers around 12 million years ago. As stunning as it is to see Torres del Pain now, I can only imagine how mind blowing it would be if one could see a time lapse of it getting carved out from the glaciers.
Torres de Paine, Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region, Chile
Google Maps Location photo was taken from: https://goo.gl/Ity0Ta