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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Argentina - 23 January, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Municipal Camp Sud, Puerto Madryn S4247.189' W06500.204' 9 m
Reserva Faunistica Peninsula Valdes . . . .
Finish Municipal Camp Sud, Puerto Madryn S4247.189' W06500.204' 9 m 380 km

Leg 2 Total:

7,290 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

16,961 km

 

Weather: Cloudy and warm with a strong breeze.  Cold and some rain at night.

 

 

Today we will have a day trip to the Reserva Faunistica Peninsula Valdes, the home of many sea animals and birds.  It is a long drive out to the peninsula and we have quite a bit of driving to do today.  But first we do some food shopping in town, at which point we pick up our guide.

 

The reserve has a huge collection of animals, including sea lions, elephant seals, guanacos, rheas, Magellanic penguins and many other sea and shore birds.  The big highlight however, is some of the large sea animals, including the southern right whale and killer whales.  But we are not here at the right season for these animals, so we will have to content ourselves with the other smaller, but still impressive, ones.

 

Argentina02_Valdes2_Cliff_4327_Web.jpg (69786 bytes)

We make a couple of stops on our tour of the peninsula.  First stop is at the visitors center, where we get an introduction to the animal life (including a skeleton of a right whale).  Our next stop is on the edge of a tall cliff, where we can look down on the sea lions and elephant seals below.  Even from our cliff top vantage point, we could hear them well. It was a good point from which to see them swimming in the nearby waves.

 

Argentina02_Valdes5_Beach_4330_Web.jpg (124880 bytes)

The second stop is where we have lunch.  After a quick bite, we head down to the beach.  Here we can get closer to the sea lions and elephant seals. They just seem to like to laze on the beach, with occasional squabbles amongst them.  Then off we go again.

 

Argentina02_Valdes7_Bay_4332_Web.jpg (99136 bytes)

The final stop is at another cliff top vantage point near Puerto Piramide, where we get an excellent view of the elephant seals.  There is even an albino pup amongst them.  There is no record of one having grown up to be an adult (it is not sure if they change color or if they die), so there is some excitement amongst the park rangers and guides about this pup.  From here, we head back to the camp site.

 

Argentina02_Madryn_Beach_C248_Web.jpg (65576 bytes)

Tonight we are doing our own thing for dinner.  After taking care of the bags and taking a shower, a group of us head into town.  When we get out of the camp and reach the beach, we see a restaurant on the beach that we decide to check out.  And that is where we have dinner, sitting out on the deck overlooking the beach, town and sea.  The food is very good and it (and the drinks) are cheap.  After dinner, we ask if we can get a taxi to take us into town and the owner suggests that we catch the local bus - save us money.

 

We thank him and go out to the street.  The bus has just pulled up, so we run to catch it.  We then ask the driver how to get to an ice cream place that we read about in the guide books.  He says that we can go there, but that he would recommend another place - we take him up on it and he says he will tell us where to get off the bus.  It is a pleasant drive and when we are in the heart of the town, the driver stops the bus and get up and points us to the door.  He is getting off to show us the way!!!

 

But as we are heading to the door and are getting off, we notice that the bus is rolling forward.  We start to yell that the bus is moving, but the driver just smiles at us and ushers us to the door.  He cannot understand us.  In the end, he seems to figure out what is going on, runs to the front and puts on the hand brake.  When we get out, we realise that there was a bit of a crowd at the front of the bus, including a father with a baby in a pram - it could have been a disaster (and all for some ice cream).  Well, the driver comes off with us, leaving his passengers behind, and walks about half a block down the street to point us in the right direction.  What a nice guy!!!

 

Well, it is very good ice cream.  We wander the streets eating the ice cream and then go to an internet cafe.  After that, Lars wants to try out another ice cream place so we walk to the one in the guide book.  It is good, but not as good as the one the bus driver took us to.  Then back to the camp.

 

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