This was a very very very long driving day as we were due to view the King penguins at the far end of Tierra del Fuego. The road stretched on endlessly with no trees, lots of sheep, as well as some guanacos and rheas. We finally had to ask for a pit stop. My privacy zone, as it was, came behind a bit of a dirt pile where some excavation had taken place. It did the job. The wind was powerful so I got a free blow dry as my Kleenex was grabbed out of my hand and whisked around the curve of the dirt.
Sadly, we saw a dead grey fox by the side the of the road, and later fleetingly spied a live one.
We began to wonder about our goal of ever getting to see the penguins before it was too late. Along the way we took a bit of a detour to see some flamingos in a salt lake. The fierce wind made it challenging to hold still enough for long range photos. They were lunching on shrimp so most heads were in the water.
Then it was on to see ancient crater remains where lizards are sometimes found; however, it was too cloudy for them to come out. The lichen covered walls looked creepy, and a very large cave must have the source of envy for the have-nots. The area was great for humans due to the quantity of food available and the comforting protection from the brutal winds.
After a quick lunch in the van we got back on the road for a few more hours. After some driving, a twenty minute ferry ride, and more driving we finally, about 5:15, reached the private penguin reserve. We had just forty-five minutes until they closed, but kindly she gave us an hour. These imperial looking large birds were just across a narrow river with the ocean in the distance. We were to stand behind a wooden blind with a row of shelves at various heights from which we could shoot photographs. A few were in the process of molting, and one brown chick, rather tall, kept preening itself. There was little movement though a few waddled about, and one lone penguin wandered back to the dunes and perhaps, the ocean. The intense wind came right through the viewing space and rattled the structure and me. It was really cool to see the King Penguins which are quite similar to the Emperor Penguins with the yellow orange graduated neck decoration. Their means of moving about is humorous. When they hold their heads down they appear sad; when they hold their head upright they appear proud and smug.
After purchasing a t-shirt and being given pins we boarded the van for another two hours to get to our hotel. It was almost nine o’clock by the time we had dinner.