Published: February 2nd 2010February 2nd 2010
We arrived at 9am after our 18 hour bus trip to a small town called Puerto Madryn which was founded by the Welsh!! The town itself is nice but would be nothing without its local peninsula which is the only reason we were there.
On arrival we found out where the campsite was and set up camp straight away. We headed back into town to see what we were going to do about the Peninsula. We went to a few agencies and they were all charging extortinate rates for a day trip which we politely turned down. After w while of thinking we bumped into a couple we met the day before at the bus station from spain (Vivi and Gustavo). They too were in the same predicamint. I suggested we rent a car and DIY it! This turned out to be a good idea.
In total renting a car was more the half the price of doing a tour and we had complete flexibility.
The follwing morning the four of us headed to pick up our VW Gol (notice is not a Golf? Its like a really cheap version with no interior!!) and made our way the 100KM to Peninsula
Valdes. This peninsula is the first place where the wildlife kicks off in Patagonia. We were in time for the South American Seal Lion mating season and the Penguins have recently been born. Each animal had its own area that they go back to every year. Was amaing to see the animals in there natural habitat without any human interferance except for the few annoying Americans poiting their gigantic cameras in theire face.
You can get virtually face to face with the penguins and they are not shy as they pose for photos. The Penguins here are called Magellanic Penguins and are located in many areas around the soutern tip of Argentina and Chile.
We also saw groups of Elephant seals. They guys are a lot bigger than the Sea Lions and unfortunately seem to find it a lot harder to move on land so they just laze about until the tide comes back in and they go for a dip.
For the South American Sea Lions it was quite amusing. As it is mating season (the ladys only gave birth two weeks ago, not much break eh?) the males are quite laod. Each male has around 3 of four
wives that he protects. The males of this breed have huge mains exactly like a realy lion and are often in battle with rival males trying to steal their women. It was really interesting to watch the behaviour. Nearly every minute there was another fight breaking out.
After going to see all the different colonies on the Peninsula we headed back for Perto Madryn to get some sleep.
Once we were awake it was time to take down the tent and we hitch-hiked back to town. More precisely to the bus station. We got some food and waited for our 4pm bus which never arrived until 6pm!!!
We are trying to get to Ushuaia and arrived in Rio Gallegos this afternoon. Unfortuntely we have to stay here for the night and got the last two seats on the 8am bus to Ushuaia tomorrow!
There are more photos below