Of buses and whales
Puerto Madryn Travel Blog› entry 6 of 33 › view all entries
October 24th, 2009 – by: lukeandsarah
Thankfully buses, even the 20 hour variety, are much nicer in Argentina. From Puerto Natales we caught a bus to Punta Arenas (a mere 3 hours), then an hour later onto Rio Gallegos in Argentina (4 hours) and then 3 hours later a 20 hour marathon northwards to Puerto Madryn, which unbelievably is still in Patagonia. We travelled that last leg semi-cama, basically giving us enough seat recline to sleep about 9 hours, which improves ones mood no end on a long bus journey. Equally good was the fact we got to watch the Illusionist and - less equally good - Knowing.
Still, we arrived in Puerto Madryn feeling relatively good and set about hostel hunting with a pair of Austrian twins from our bus. Took a while, but ended up in a newly opened, family run hostel. Continuing the efficiency drive we set about booking a tour of Peninsula Valdes (the only real reason for being in Puerto Madryn) before relaxing with a home cooked steak.
Early start then on Thursday, jumping on our minibus at 8ish, and heading along the coastal road to the peninsula. We stopped at a beach along the way and were treated to an early sight of the whales - a mother and her calf swimming prettily along about 20m offshore.
Arriving at the peninsula we were given old style lifejackets and huge green and yellow ponchos for our boat ride, looking very good indeed. The whale watching was definitely my highlight - about an hour and a half of watching Southern Right Whales from a medium sized boat, with lots of diving to show off their tails. Gave up on taking a decent photo and just enjoyed it, especially when one surfaced right near the boat making Sarah jump a fair way. In her defence, it was a big whale.
Boat ride over and lunch eaten we then headed in the minibus to visit colonies of elephant seals and Magellanic penguins. Both were fairly inactive, save for the big male elephant seal and the various females who had to escape him, but enjoyed seeing some new animals up close and personal. By the end of the day, another 400km later, we were pretty tired - remedied swiftly by pizza, beer and watching the Guardian back at the hostel.
As if we couldn't get enough, two more 20 hour bus journeys to come in the following couple of days, will write again from Puerto Iguazu.
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