Estancia Harberton

Just arrived at Estancia Harberton – and what a view

One windy day, hubby and I were in Ushuaia, dressed in our North Face and Helly Hansen windbreakers and totally blending in with the crowd, when we boarded a half-empty tour boat to take us to see penguins at Martillo island. I was obsessed with the idea of seeing those penguins and couldn’t think of much else. (To my delight, we later saw more of them at Puerto Madryn.)

Isla Martillo didn’t disappoint. As a bonus, the boat ride also gave us a chance to see (hear and smell) sea lions at Isla de los Lobos. Also very memorable!

After Isla Martillo and Isla de los Lobos, the boat was to continue to a place called Estancia Harberton and from there, the journey back would be by bus. I didn’t know anything about the Harberton ranch we were about to visit and I was too impatient to read up on it upon booking the tour.

Harberton ranch, Argentina (November 2014)

So what a nice surprise it was to end the day by sailing into this calm harbor, after all the wildlife excitement and cuteness overload had been done and dealt with. Unlike Ushuaia, the weather at Harberton was suddenly just gorgeous. It was like we’d sailed into another world, shielded and private. My camera still didn’t get a rest.

We had a homemade lunch, chatting with an American couple we came across, and then joined a small, English-speaking group on a guided tour of the ranch’s lush gardens and other areas.

Lots of random old objects here and there added a touch of history to the place.

Further away, there was an innocent-looking little house which we entered. Inside the little house, however, there was a vile smell. Our guide showed us a container of dolphin carcasses, preserved for research purposes. I couldn’t bear to look in, the smell was enough. Our tour guide was a researcher of dolphins and whales and if I remember correctly, a marine biologist from Chile. Despite the shock, it was really interesting to hear about her research. She was trying to figure out the cause of death of the marine mammals that had washed ashore.

Looks can deceive: the not-so-innocent dolphin house

Afterwards, our guide took us to visit a very interesting little museum about marine mammals. It was also a functioning laboratory. I have to add, that overall, Argentina probably had the most interesting museums I’ve ever visited anywhere. They were all so authentic somehow, with lots of real-life details, and many of them had to do with environmental issues.

Visiting the Harberton ranch ended up being another memorable highlight on an already unforgettable day.

How serene!

Click the links in the text for photos of penguins and sea lions – and here are a couple of related posts:

Isla Martillo penguin post
Three points to know about Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel

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40 responses to “Estancia Harberton

  1. Beautiful impressions and a great narrative, thnak you for sharing! 👍🏻 Love this museum and moody feeling you transport through your photos. I’d love to see you blend in in your HH 🇳🇴 and NFclothing. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Unlike Ushuaia, the weather at Harberton was suddenly just gorgeous.”

    You know what? I was actually thinking “Mmmmh, this place doesn’t have the same looks, at least weather-wise, that I’ve normally seen in photos of Ushuaia!”

    Splendid post, thanks!

    Fabrizio

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow how beautiful! I would have guessed from the pictures that it was from somewhere in Europe. What interesting regions you have visited in South America! 🙂 The photos are great, I love the flower shots. Dolphin carcasses isn’t something I’d be interested in seeing either. I so want to visit Chile and Argentina and Uruguay one day! Have you been to Uruguay ? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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