Into the Heart of Patagonia!

Puerto Madryn Travel Blog

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Southern Right Whale off the coast of Peninsular Valdes
We arrived from Bariloche to a very different sort of a town.  Puerto Madryn was the place that settlers from Wales decided to head to from their homeland.
Our first impressions were that it is a very tidy, pretty and clean place and again, it was very different to what you might perceive a Latin American town to be like - our hostel owner´s comment that "Latin America finishes with a line from Cordoba (a city in Northern Argentina) and Europe starts".  I think that we would probably agree with that.

OUr first trip was to Peninsula Valdes to go whale watching.
Group of Elephant Seals enjoying a siesta
  IT was a fantatic experience, and we saw several Southern Right Whales with young.  They grow up to 16 metres in length, which doesn´t sound a lot, but they are huge animals, especially when you see them close-up!

We then moved-on to the Elephant Seal colonies and the Magellenic Penhuin colonies on the other side of the peninsular.  It was great to see such animals in their natural environment and it was so incredibly peaceful there - very few other tourists around.  Both the penguins and the seals were so awkard looking out of the water, but one they slipped-in to the sea, they loved around so quickly and gracefully.

The next day we visited Punta Tomba to visit the biggest colony of penguins in the Americas.  WE were also fortunate that it was one of 5 days of the year that there are eggs hatching, which was a phenomenal sight.  To be able to stand withing touching distance (although you wouldn´t dare try, because despite their gentle demeanour and their funny waggle, they have razor-sharp bills and are exceptionally protective of their young!) was a great.
Peninsular Valdes
 
Sadly, we couldn´t go dolphin watching because of the winds and the rough seas, although instead  we went to the Welsh settlement town of Gaiman.  
Gaiman was a funny little place (again, like Puerto Madryn it was very quaint) with a very distinctive look to the buildings.  We visited 2 chapels, the first house constructed in Gaiman and also an original tea-house, where Jeremy unashamedly had a real go at the "all the cake you can eat" policy, although at least we didn´t have to buy any dinner that night!

On our "free day" we hired bikes and set-out on the 34km trip to Punta Lobos to see the Sea Lion colony,
however the weather changed so dramatically that it became dangerous to continue cycling due to the high
winds and so we turned-back (like other cyclists we saw!).
Southern Right Whale off the coast of Peninsular Valdes
  We stopped on a headland on our way (a little disappointed to have cycled over 20km without seeing sea lions, but we were fortunate to see a whale swimming around off the coast, which when it was next to a diving platform gave us a real perspective as to how huge they look.  We sat an watched it for about half an hour as it slowly moved around.

Our next stop from Puerto Madryn is El Calafate (with another 24 hour plus bus journey!), which will be
about as far south (in Argentina) that we will be going.  THe trip onwards to Ushuaia is just a little
way out of reach with the time we have left and the distances we have to coverto see other things!
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Southern Right Whale off the coast…
Southern Right Whale off the coas…
Group of Elephant Seals enjoying a…
Group of Elephant Seals enjoying …
Peninsular Valdes
Peninsular Valdes
Southern Right Whale off the coast…
Southern Right Whale off the coas…
Southern Right Whale off the coast…
Southern Right Whale off the coas…
Southern Right Whale off the coast…
Southern Right Whale off the coas…
Señor Chorizo - a very friendly L…
Señor Chorizo - a very friendly …
Soft on the inside, crunchy on th…
"Soft on the inside, crunchy on t…
Peninsular Valdes Seals
Peninsular Valdes Seals
No penguins where hurt in the maki…
No penguins where hurt in the mak…
Peninsular Valdes Penguin waddling…
Peninsular Valdes Penguin waddlin…
Elephant seal on Peninsula Valdes …
Elephant seal on Peninsula Valdes…
Croeso i Cymru!
Croeso i Cymru!
Penguin feeding young chicks on Pu…
Penguin feeding young chicks on P…
Guess whose hand this is!?
Guess whose hand this is!?
More penguins!
More penguins!
Puerto Madryn
photo by: dan2105