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South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » Río Gallegos
November 9th 2010
Published: November 16th 2010
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tent life!tent life!tent life!

beautiful sunset, our first night in Monte Hermoso
Hello everyone
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
ususus

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
WHALE!!!!WHALE!!!!WHALE!!!!

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
sea lionssea lionssea lions

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.


Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


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in the desertin the desert
in the desert

the looong straight road we had in front of us
tea partytea party
tea party

little side trip to Gaiman for a lovely afternoon of Welsh tea and crumpets
mate (pronounce mat-eh)mate (pronounce mat-eh)
mate (pronounce mat-eh)

this is the drink of argentina. somewhat bitter tea drunk from a squash with a perforated spoon. we like it quite alot
dique florentino abherghinodique florentino abherghino
dique florentino abherghino

the incredible river and canyon
patagonica corderopatagonica cordero
patagonica cordero

baaaah. little lamby on the parilla (grill)


9th November 2010

You go girl!
How fun Marin! I love seeing the world through your eyes...Keep sending fun photos and adventures! Maybe someday you could travel to Boise-it's not like South America...but it would be fun to see you :) Hugs, Cousin Carissa
9th November 2010

Oh Marin your travels sound so fun. I am glad you are getting the full experience. Keep us posted as we love to read what you write. You are very good at bringing it alive for us. xoxoxox Tom and Nancy
10th November 2010

epic trip!
oh honey...love the pinky up at the tea- how perfect. How are you feeling? I know the last thing on earth you like to do is throw-up so you must have really been suffering. What a way you have writing your thoughts. I can see the beauty through your words and only wish I were right beside you. Well I guess I am- in spirit. Being the only ones on those incredible beaches must have left such a memory for you. It is in the stillness that we sometimes find peace. Cant wait to hear about your continued journey...and remember how much I love to hear your voice:) Hugs to Thor! yo momma
11th November 2010

Marin, thank you again for sharing your travels. So glad you are having a wonderful experience. All is fine here - looking forward to a turkey dinner in a couple weeks. Warner and Serena are now in AZ and checking out their options. Life seems to fill up with living every day. I finished two days of jury duty (we convicted the poor guy). I had not participated on a jury before, so that was a good experience. Stay in touch and stay safe. Lots of love, Aunt Judy

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