We were looking for groceries and we found whales.

Peninsula Valdes Travel Blog

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We're on a road to nowhere.

Today we flew south from Buenos Aires to the region of Patagonia. When we landed in Puerto Madryn, there was some issue with our car rental (Budget is located in the town, not the airport, and there was no one there to meet us.) We eventually got it straightened out with the “help” of a very old toothless man, who then demanded a big tip. The man from Budget came to give us a ride to town, and after about two hours of painstaking paperwork, we were driving our GM Corsa along the coast to the Valdés Peninsula, where our hotel is located. It was surprisingly sunny and pleasant…we had expected weather much worse.
Steve checks out the whale display.
 

The entire Valdés Peninsula is a protected wildlife reserve, and we had to pay 95 pesos (about $30) to enter. The scenery here really can’t be described…how can something so barren look so beautiful? It is very flat, with an occasional rolling hill, and tussocks of tough looking grass and brambles. And sheep. Lots and lots of sheep.

We stopped at the visitor’s center, where a large Right Whale skeleton was on display. They also had displays with pictures of the local flora and fauna, some of which we hoped to catch a glimpse of later. There was a viewing tower facing out to the gorgeous coastline, but we didn’t stay long there, because we could see this from the car and we were eager to get going.

We drove to the town of Puerto Pirámides for supplies, but there wasn’t a whole lot going on in this town.
Whale tail!
Our search for a grocery store brought us down to the coast where the road turned to packed sand, and we found ourselves on a beach of sorts. As we drove up to park I scanned the water and saw… WHALES! I barely had time to set the parking brake before I was leaping out of the car with my camera. There were three whales total, clearly visible from shore, and we were lucky enough to see some tail-out-of-the-water action. EXCELLENT! What an exciting way to kick of Patagonia!    

Steve finally managed to tear me away from whale watching, and we did find a little grocery store of sorts. Then we headed out of town on the gravel road to our final destination, Punta Delgado. The drive was nothing short of spectacular. In additional to a landscape that stretched out forever and the never-ending sky, we saw horses, sheep, a skunk, rabbits, guanacos, Patagonian Tinamou, and Patagonian Hares (“Mara”) on the way.
Me and the Patagonian 360 degree sunset.
When the sun went down there was a 360-degree sunset. It was so incredible! We kept stopping for photos, which is partially why is took so dang long to get to the hotel. The poor road surface also contributed to our pace … the gravel was actually slippery and I had to drive slowly.

It was 7:30pm and dark out when we finally lifted the gate to let ourselves through to the hotel driveway. Our hotel, Faro Punta Delgado is also a working light house (the land is owned by the navy and is leased to the hotel) so it was pretty easy to find with a marker like that. Our room is rustic but comfortable, but we weren’t too happy to learn that there is no Internet or cell service, and the electricity is turned off every day from 9am to 1pm and from 4pm to 7pm. We are really in the middle of nowhere! Plus, the tap (and shower) water is salty.
The bar at Faro Punta Delgado.
It’s not that it’s drawn from the sea…almost all of the ground water on the peninsula is this way. The water reservoir is 3 km away, and the well itself is 80 meters deep… water is apparently an issue here.  

We had drinks in the cute hotel bar while we waited for dinner (not served until 8pm, and we were so hungry!), and I used their reference books to learn the names of the animals we had seen on the road. We had a pretty mediocre dinner in a nice atmosphere, then turned in to our super comfy bed, excited for what Patagonia would show us tomorrow…


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Were on a road to nowhere.
We're on a road to nowhere.
Steve checks out the whale display.
Steve checks out the whale display.
Whale tail!
Whale tail!
Me and the Patagonian 360 degree s…
Me and the Patagonian 360 degree …
The bar at Faro Punta Delgado.
The bar at Faro Punta Delgado.
But where is Budget?
But where is Budget?
Finally on the road!
Finally on the road!
We are going to Peninsula Valdes, …
We are going to Peninsula Valdes,…
I really hope to see one of these!
I really hope to see one of these!
Puerto Pirámides.
Puerto Pirámides.
Several whales at play!
Several whales at play!
Just passing through.
Just passing through.
Hes making fun of me.
He's making fun of me.
OK, Charlene, step away from the w…
OK, Charlene, step away from the …
Grouse I think? There are two, can…
Grouse I think? There are two, ca…
Guanacos.
Guanacos.
A small defiant one. The others al…
A small defiant one. The others a…
The Mara travel in twos. Can you s…
The Mara travel in twos. Can you …
Sheep crossing.
Sheep crossing.
Sunset...
Sunset...
I think there are just a couple tr…
I think there are just a couple t…
And heres the other.
And here's the other.
Reflections of the sunset.
Reflections of the sunset.
Cant stop taking photos of the su…
Can't stop taking photos of the s…
Another.
Another.
Just one more...
Just one more...
Snap happy.
Snap happy.
The hotel gate.
The hotel gate.
Not one dessert, but two!
Not one dessert, but two!
Peninsula Valdes
photo by: cmgervais