Isla Martillo
Vinciguerra Glacier

Gable Island

Following our visit with the penguins on Isla Martillo, we hopped back in the boat for a short ride over to Gable Island, the largest in the Beagle Channel. It belongs to Haberton Ranch (mentioned in a previous post) and was where they used to take their sheep during the summer. Today, only a large shearing shed is left. 

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We walked inland a bit, enjoying the beautiful views of the Beagle Channel:

P1000325 Among the meadows was an old cabin where the crew set up a picnic lunch for us, complete with red and white checked table cloth, red wine, chicken salad sandwiches, chips, cubes of salami and cheese (big here), and brownies (yum).
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There was a small room to the side, filled with empty wine bottles:

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We then walked off lunch with a long hike around the island, with Federico pointing out the local flora and fauna. We tasted wild berries and mushrooms (!) and saw lots of birds, including this Caracara (falcon):

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There was some cool plant life here as well, like the Japanese Lantern, which actually attacks a tree like ivy does, but hangs from its branches in big, green star bursts:

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And the white, lacy lichen which only grows in areas where the air has a high percentage of pure oxygen (e.g., unpolluted):

P1000333 We also saw quite a few of the infamous beaver dams. Beavers had been introduced from Canada in the 1940s, in an effort to start up a fur industry here. With no natural predators, they have swelled in numbers and destroyed the surrounding woodlands. The Argentinians introduced the Silver Fox to the area in hopes that it would hunt the beavers, only to learn that the Silver Fox doesn't eat beaver. Now they have a fox problem as well. Doh!

Despite being a nuisance, their damns are really quite amazing. Here's one we walked across: 
P1000336 Finally, we arrived back at the mussel-covered beach where our boat was waiting to return us to the mainland.
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We headed back to our cabin to rest up before the next day's big hike up the glacier.

Previously:

Isla Martillo

The Beagle Channel

Ushuaia

Trelew

Gaiman

Punta Tombo

Puerto Madryn

La Boca

San Telmo

Puerto Madero

Recoleta

Palermo


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