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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Argentina - 22 January, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Municipal Camp, Radatilly, south of Comodoro Rivadavia S4555.047' W06733.106' 5 m
Trelew . . . .
Reserva Provincial Punta Tombo . . . .
Finish Municipal Camp Sud, Puerto Madryn S4247.189' W06500.204' 9 m 700 km

Leg 2 Total:

6,910 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

16,581 km

 

Weather: Clear, sunny, windy and cool, then warm.  Drizzle in the evening.

 

 

We have another 8 AM departure and this is the second time in a row that we leave on time - a record.  We drive for the whole morning, heading north.  We stop at Trelew for lunch.  We all head into a supermarket to grab something, before we continue on our way.  While in Trelew, we also get a guide for our visit to Punta Tombo.

 

Reserva Provincial Punta Tombo was established to protect the half million Magellanic penguins that breed at this spot - the largest penguin nesting ground in continental South America.  There are also a huge range of sea and shore birds that hang out here.  It is an amazing place.

 

Argentina02_Tombo04_Penguins_4325_Web.jpg (125870 bytes)

As we drive into the reserve, we have to stop frequently and shoo penguins off the road and out of our way.  They were all along the side of the road in their nests.  When we reached the car park near the water's edge, we got out and had the chance to walk amongst them.  Much of the park is fenced off and we have the chance to only walk in a small part, but it does not matter.  The penguins seem happy to nest in the area where we, humans, can roam.

 

Argentina02_Tombo03_Chicks_4324_Web.jpg (115466 bytes)

They would just waddle around in and amongst us and go about their business.  And they had lots do to.  This had been a  good breeding season, and there were chicks all over the place.   Just about every nest had one, or even two.  And the parents would have to go out to sea, feed and then come back and re-gurgitate the food to feed it to their young.  It was amazing seeing how the young ones would clamor for more.

 

We walked over to the cliff and watched how they would gracefully swim in the sea.  We would then see how they would suddenly become clumsy and comical as they came ashore at the beach.  They would waddle up and head off to their nests.  Some of the nests were a kilometer away.

 

We spent a bit over an hour here, and then got on the truck to continue north.  We had a bout a three hour drive to Puerto Madryn, where we will camp for 2 nights.  After we arrive, it starts to drizzle.  We quickly set up camp and then just hang around while the cook group prepares dinner.  We have some wine - we need to finish off our stockpile.

 

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