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Published: November 16th 2010
beautiful sunset, our first night in Monte Hermoso
We have made it quite far south, to the city of Rio Gallegos. What an amazing journey we have had getting here. We left Rosario for Bahia Blance and then took a little bus to a small town called Monte Hermoso and there Thor got to swim in the Atlantic for the first time. There was not too much happening in that town but we got to set up our tent and have the beach all to ourselves and watch bunny rabbits in the sand dunes.
Then we headed further South to Puerto Madryn, a gateway city to the Peninsula Valdes which is a huge wildlife attraction. We set up camp in a campsite on a cliff overlooking the ocean and just about everytime you looked to the water you could see right whales finning or breaching. I love whales so this was really exciting for me. At the campsite we met a Swiss couple travelling in a motorhome who went to a beach that was a colony for sea lions and elephant seals. We opted out of the Peninsula Valdes because it could only be visited by tour bus and prepared for our journey to the
another sunset, this of the private beach... bahia cracker
remote beach... it was 70 km through the desert and no stores or food or hostels or buses! So we set out on foot and got a few rides, then got picked up by a couple who was going fishing on a private estancia (sheep farm), they inviited us to spend the day with them and we jumped at the chance. We caught about 40 fish, some of which they called salmon but were nothing like the salmon I know. Gaby, the captain, cruised us over to a sea lion colony and we got to see and smell them, funny little animals. They are so awkward and silly on land but seem comfortable in the water. Also, there was a baby right whale around where we were, so Gaby fired up the outboard and we got to go whale watching. It was about 20 yard from us, then went under and came up in front even closer, then went under again and I could see it swimming right by the boat. Then it came up at the bow!!! About 8 inches from Thor's outstretched hand. We spent two nights at this majestic place, and had it all to ourselves, only
right whale off of the bow of our Zodiac. That is Thor's hand for reference. I almost peed my pants
the seagulls and albatross to keep us company, the whale too! We set out on day to walk to the colony we visited by boat and along the way discovered the entire beach was fossils. They were falling out of the cliffs, being uncivered by the waves... absolutely everywhere! We spent the day walking around like little scientists. I am so happy we went the hard way, made friends and had a real experience with Argentinians and the animals than just going on the stinky ol toursit bus.
After our fishing expedition, we followed our new friend's Gaby and Alejandra's advice and set out for Dique Florentina Abherghino. A beautiful little village not found in any of our guide books. We made it there with the help of two well drillers, Raymond and Eduardo and they returned one night with beers and vaca (cow ribs) and we sepnt the night laughing at the language barrier, feasting and raising our bottles in cheers! Then, they came back the next day with half of a little lamb-y, which is the real meat of Patagonia. It was pretty fatty for my liking, but still good. This village was set in a canyon
this was after our half day hike.. i forgot to mention the tide trapped us on the way back. This big guy was one of the head haunchos of the colony
shadowed by a giant dam and volcanic red rocks. There were no trails, but we went hiking on the rocks all the way out of the canyon, we were higher than the vultures! It was a beautiful sight, the river a milky emerald green contrasting the reddish orange rock, so lovely. Once again, we were happy we trusted real people's advice and sepnt the extra effort on getting to a place not on the tourist route.
We left that little village and took and 18 hour bus yesterday to here, Rio Gallegos. On that bus I proceeded to throw up 2 times, very nasty. I don't really know what that was all about, but after resting up yesterday I'm feeling okay, but still a little fragile. But, carry on we will! After I finish writing we will head south on Ruta 3, to the end of the world!! Well, at least to Ushuaia, the southernmost city on the planet, who knows what we'll find there.
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