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Published: January 27th 2013
PUERTO MADRYN, ARGENTINA - JANUARY 26 - The weather was great, sunshine, upper 60’s low 70’s, winds calm in the morning, increasing through the day up to 3:00 pm when we left port.
I went ashore about 9:00 am. There were several tours available to see nature in the raw, sea lions, Magellan Penguins, elephant seals and even sheep shearing. I decided to walk the downtown area. Beautiful beachfront location with parks and recreation areas. It was a Saturday morning and lots of families were enjoying the nice weather. As I got off the ship a lady handed me a map of the city which was useful. The walk to town was god exercise, I needed. I walked along the beachfront for several blocks before I ventured into town. Puerto Madryn is not a large town and it has few high rise buildings. Most store fronts are small but there is a wide variety. There is a park near the center and some vendor stalls there. I was amazed at the number of taxis lined up around the park (and at the foot of the pier) to provide services. I don’t know if it was a regular occurrence or because
a ship was in port. The people I interacted with had at least basic English skills, but I hadn’t yet traded any US$ for Argentine pesos. I was hoping for a lunch and some local beer, but the restaurants didn’t start serving until noon and it was only 10:30, so I walked further and got back near the beachfront. A young man approached me to encourage my participating in a tour. I told him I wasn’t interested, but, undeterred, he asked if I wanted to exchange money. I said yes and he took me into an office with two young ladies, a desk and a computer. One with very good English skills told me she would exchange at the rate of 5.5 pesos for a dollar. I got US $100. worth. In another two blocks I came across an “official” looking exchange which was offering 4.8 pesos to the dollar. Either I made a good deal or I was a fool (is it counterfeit?). Time will tell when I try to spend it in Buenos Aires. If you don’t hear from me, I’ll be in jail.
It was getting to the point I needed a bathroom, so I headed
back to the ship. I was tired enough that I didn’t go back to town, especially considering that I had to be onboard at 2:30. I went to anticipated Mass at 5:00.
I talked with several people that had participated in tours. The major theme was the wildlife, but they also told me that as soon as they got out of the city the paved roads disappeared and became dirt. Puerto Madryn is remote I would say.
Tomorrow is our last sea day followed by Montevideo and then Buenos Aires. I will attend the disembarkation presentation and pick up my passport. I won’t send another blog until Montevideo.
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