Valdez Peninsular

Hostel living is fun, some home cooking after a week of restaurants and mega steaks a welcome change.

Weathers refreshing change from yesterdays miserable drizzle and grey skies very pleasing. Clear blue skies and temperatures nudging 30C means plenty of sun screen and a hat. Picked up by coach at 7.30am from our Hostel in Puerta Madryn for an approx 400km round trip of the peninsular. Under the guidance of entertaining and knowledgeable local guide Martin.

Starting in the north with a visit to a small colony of Magellan Penguins – I like the Spanish name Penquino’s, seems to suit these cute and endlessly entertaining creatures – then south on gravel roads to a colony of elephant seals. Complex arrangement, a cafe has a deal with the army to run the cafe and “charge” tourists entrance by having compulsory purchase from cafe.

However great views of the beach and the seals and occasional sea lions, at this time of year only females and cubs are present, the males are out to sea fattening up. Although as a male can reach 5 metres and 4000KG wouldn’t seem to need too much fattening up.

Along the way the driver stopped to view local mammals and birds such as Mara – “Argentinean hare”, Rhea’s and the endemic guanacos (lowland relatives of the llama). The Mara was guarding the burrow and obligingly her newly born baby made an appearance for the cameras.

However the highlight of the day was a 2 hour whale watching trip, according to the on board guides we had an exceptional day starting with unusual view of dolphins in the bay and then straight to simply stunning views of a trio of southern right whales and their young. You can never tire of watching these fascinating creatures and I still find it difficult to believe anyone would want to kill something so utterly majestic.

All in all a magical day and exactly what we signed up for. We just need the Truck! Which is still stuck in Montevideo and probably won’t catch up us with until middle / end of the week. As a result we have another long sleeper coach south Monday to the Glacier Park which means the Truck will have best part of 3,000 KM to catch up. Still can’t be helped and as Kirsten, tour leader, says “the show goes on”.

Photos – here – my favourite undoubtedly the whale tail!

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2 Comments

  1. Sue December 2, 2012 at 8:58 AM #

    Glad to hear you’re finally on your way – hope the truck catches up with you soon. Fantastic pictures of whales and penguins. Also nice to see a photo of you all on the Odyssey website. xx

  2. Jim December 5, 2012 at 11:17 AM #

    Just thought you’d want to know we’ve got snow! Very light but just about covering the grass. See what you’re missing…

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