We took a walk along the simple, quiet streets of a growing town at the head of Lake Fagnano where everyone welcomed us with a smile and told us about their daily life.
Once we had comfortably settled in the charming, fifty-year-old Kaiken Inn and enjoyed the best view of Lake Fagnano
and its waters, made choppy by the west winds, we decided to take a stroll in the center of Tolhuin
We left the inn at sunset and drove along old gravel Route 3, so we accessed the town at the foot of Mount Michi, the old way. We came to the bridge over Río Turbio
(Muddy River), the Sendero Indio
(Indian Trail) horse rides and Khami cabins, all representative of this island town.
We walked along Esteban Lucas Bridges, one of the few paved roads, as far as the square where the youngsters usually meet, especially in the evenings. The stone and wood walls and simple lines of traditional Tierra del Fuego
architecture of the new Holy Family Church, next to the original chapel, made a deep impression on us. Once inside, the imposing silence made us stay a few minutes discovering each and every image.
We walked along the main streets at the same easy pace as its residents. We gradually discovered its shops, especially the well known La Unión bakery
whose reputation had preceded our arrival in Tolhuin.
Famous for its Danish pastry as well as for its popularity as a meeting place for coffee, some well known characters have left memorabilia on its walls to share with other customers.
‘What can we see and do in the town and its surroundings?’ Smiling broadly, Emilio, the owner of La Unión, enumerated the activities carried out in breathtaking, virgin nature. ‘Among outdoor activities, the most popular is fly-fishing though there are countless ways to enjoy yourself in summer. You can even see condors on Mount Shenolsh.’
‘Visiting Garibaldi Pass
is a must. There is a winding mountain road, a view of Lago Escondido
(Lake Hidden) and the saw mills at work in the area. You can explore thick forests and see valleys, mountains and lakes in their pure state’, Emilio has enthusiastically suggested thousands of times.
In town we heard that long ago the inn was a mandatory stop for travelers on their way to Ushuaia
or Río Grande
along National Route 3.
We had delicious crab ravioli for dinner at the inn. Once in our cabins, the sound of the wind on the roof lulled us to sleep. We realized it is the background music that accompanies dreams in Tolhuin, Tierra del Fuego, end of the world.