Day 21 – On the road to Puerto Madryn
Today we set out on a rather long drive, not expecting to be in Puerto Madryn until after dark.
The terrain has changed a lot now, rolling hills and forests is behind us and flat, dry land with only low shrubs ahead.
Apparently this is how it will be most of the way down Patagonia.
We made good time and got to Puerto Madryn well before sundown, something that doesn’t happen often.
When we put up the roof we were considering having the tarp only half on, but we couldn’t find a good way to secure the ends.
It was a good thing that we secured the roof, because shortly after dark the wind picked up. For most of the night the bus was shaking and fasteners rattling. So much that people inside the bus wondered what kind of party we had on the roof.
Tomorrow we are going to explore Valdes Peninsula, where we should be able to spot seal lions, sea elephants and penguins. With much lunch perhaps also Orcas. The whale season is over, so I guess there is no chance of spotting whales.
Day 22 – Valdes Peninsula.
We got up at seven today to get picked up at eight for our day trip. It’s quite a drive to get to northern part of the peninsula where the sea lion colony is located. On the way there we spotted a few guanacsos, and even a grey fox ran across the road.
At Estancia Punta Norte we got to see the sea lions and their cubs basking in the sun. In the distance we also saw some sea elephants, unfortunately we were never able to come any closer. There is another vantage point down the beach, but for some reason our guide didn’t take us there.
After the sea lions we went to a ranch where there is a large penguin colony, and you are able to walk around the sands with them. They seem to be very used to humans and didn’t mind us at all.
We had lunch at the ranch before heading to the only town on the peninsula. On the way there we got a flat tire and was stranded while our driver change the tire. This is where we should have had our lunch. It’s a small town with small shops and coffees. I got some great gelato and a short walk to the beach before we headed home.
On the way back we saw some rehas and more guanacsos
When we got back into Puerto Madryn we went to get some more cash and had dinner at a small restaurant, excellent pizzas.
We decided to walk back and at one of the restaurants along the water we got our nite cap.
Tomorrow we got another full day in Perto Madryn
Day 23 – A day in Puerto Madryn
Today Hanna had her birthday and we all snuck up early to surprise here with coffee and cake. A good start to the day.
This morning was windier that yesterday, but not as bad as the first night.
After breakfast and a bit of chilling at the camp site we decides to walk back into town. We have to pick up some laundry that Marco kindly enough delivered for us the day before and pick up some supplies for the long drives ahead.
Later we’ll have a dinner together to celebrate Hanna
In town we found a cool restaurant shaped like the hull of a boat, it was also a place the Marco pointed out the first afternoon when we drove into town. Here we got lunch, I had on of the best pieces of meat so far on this trip there.
This was to be the first time we are at this restaurant today. During our lunch Marco suddenly showed up and it became clear that this was the place booked for the evening.
After lunch I went to pick up my laundry, but it was closed. I guess we’re not used to the concept of siesta. So we went of to get some coffee instead. Bosse knew about a place with great coffee and ice cream. So there we ended up. Best coffee so far on this trip, not to mention the gelato.
After lunch I went with Hanna to get the groceries needed for the next couple of days. Not the easiest task when the shelves seem to defy any logic and finding some of the basic stuff is hard. In the end we had to get food from two different supermarkets. And then came the issue of paying. Out bill came in at over 3000 pesos, and the register didn’t like that. And with the language barrier as well it looked bad for a while. Luckily a guy that came from Holland was in the queue and were able to translate for us. We managed by splitting the bill in smaller amount.
This seem to be a pain in South America, even in ATM’s the highest amount you can get in a transaction is 2000 pesos, but we burn thought quite a bit of cash so a higher number would be good. Instead of having to pay the transaction fee multiple times. The ATM here adds a fee, and then of course the bank at home adds its fee.
We finally went back to the camp site, tidied up and got ready for dinner.
Dinner was again great, this time I had some very nice chicken.
We decided to go straight back after dinner. Tomorrow we start on the long drive south. Three days now until Ushuaia.