Written 23 Dec/ 26 Dec/ 29 Dec
If I were to sum Puerto Madryn up in a word, it would be “disappointing”. Very unfortunately. BUT, I still had a good time there.
So I arrived in Puerto Madryn in the afternoon,
and it was too late to do anything much, so I hung out with Ruud and Katherine, whom I met in Puerto Madryn. We made food and ate and talked and it was a very lovely afternoon, followed by an amazing sunset with such beautiful colours.
The next day was quite quiet. I went to the city centre to do some research on tours or excursions to Peninsula Valdes. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday, so almost everything was closed. That is something I’m still having some trouble getting used to here – that practically everything is closed on weekends AND in the afternoons. It is also something I am very thankful for in Singapore. But when you’re in a foreign country, you learn not to sweat the small things and to just go with the flow.
Anyway, I asked for tour prices at the only place that was open and it was 420pesos for a 12hr tour, but not including the 490peso boat ride to see the whales. That seemed kinda steep to me, and it seemed more practical to gather some people to rent a car and go together. So I abandoned the idea of signing up for a tour and headed to the beach. The rest of the day was spent pretty much entirely at the beach with Rudd and some of his friends. Lovely people, Argentinians.
The next day, Katherine and I decided to rent a car with Philippe, a guy I met in Buenos Aires who was arriving in Puerto Madryn that day, to go to Peninsula Valdes. Just our luck, we couldn’t get a car, and it was pretty late in the afternoon, so it didn’t make sense to go and have to rush back. We ended up going to the beach and walking around.
Katherine had to work the day after, but Philippe and I set out on a mission to go to Peninsula Valdes. It was just our luck that we had huge problems getting the car (again – our credit cards didn’t work because we needed bank authorizations) but we finally managed to rent a car (slightly over 800pesos not including gas with Wild Skies) and set out from Puerto Madryn at about 2pm.
It was a long drive to Peninsula Valdes (entrance 130pesos), but there was some amazing scenery,
And we spotted some guanacos!
I even got to drive for a bit once Philippe decided I wouldn’t drive the car into a ditch or kill us.
In Peninsula Valdes, we saw penguins up close!
Cute little critters who didn’t seem bothered by the fact that people were standing not two meters away from them cooing over their cuteness.
Then it was off to find the sea lions, the elephant seals and the orcas! Being the delinquent tourists that we were, we obviously stopped where we shouldn’t have and took a walk down to the beach. We were greeted by some amazing views that made the trip pretty much worth it (:
When we got to the official view point, the sea lions and elephant seals were lying on the shore, sun bathing.
It was an amazing sight, no doubt, but I had been spoilt by my up-close-and-personal experience with sea lions in Mar del Plata, so I was pretty disappointed.
And there were no orcas ):
It was getting late by then, so we started making our way back to Puerto Madryrn, and we saw the cutest little guy running across the road, and found him hiding in a bush. (:
After that, it was back to Puerto Madryn for dinner, and since we still had the car for the night, we drove out to the beach to look at the moonlight. So so so beautiful.
We only had to return the car the next day at 2pm, so Philippe and I headed to Punto Lomo (entrance 50pesos) in the morning with the hopes of seeing more sea lions and elephant seals. But again, we were disappointed because the animals were so far away 😦
We left pretty quickly after that, and passed some sand dunes that were pretty, and pretty fun to run up and down and roll around in.
(I forgot to bring my camera out, so these are Philippe’s!)
We headed to the bus terminal to buy our bus tickets after that, and that was pretty much it for Puerto Madryn. It was disappointing because I didn’t get to make friends with the animals, but I did make some great people-friends and that made it all worth it.