Puerto Madryn was kinda meh

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.

Graffiti with insight Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Graffiti with insight
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

So I arrived in Puerto Madryn in the afternoon,

Back on solid ground Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Back on solid ground
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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.

Such great colours Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Such great colours
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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.

Going with the flow means chilling out and watching the sun Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Going with the flow means chilling out and watching the sun
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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.

Beach time! Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Beach time!
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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.

Beach buddies Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Beach buddies
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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.

(240) Miles to go! Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

(240) Miles to go!
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

It was a long drive to Peninsula Valdes (entrance 130pesos), but there was some amazing scenery,

The vast nothingness Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

The vast nothingness
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

And we spotted some guanacos!

Spot the guanaco! Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Spot the guanaco!
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

I even got to drive for a bit once Philippe decided I wouldn’t drive the car into a ditch or kill us.

I swear nobody got hurt Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

I swear nobody got hurt
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

In Peninsula Valdes, we saw penguins up close!

Entirely unperturbed Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Magellan penguins 
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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.

Check out my belly Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Check out my belly
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Whatchu lookin' at? Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Whatchu lookin’ at?
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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 (:

Birds flying highhhh, they know how I feeeeeeel Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Birds flying highhhh, they know how I feeeeeeel
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Penguins taking to the sea Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Penguins taking to the sea
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

When we got to the official view point, the sea lions and elephant seals were lying on the shore, sun bathing.

Sun bathing sea lions and elephant seals Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Sun bathing sea lions and elephant seals
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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.

Nice view though Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Nice view though
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

I spotted a cute lizard Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

I spotted a cute lizard
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

And there were no orcas ):

Closest I got to orcas in Peninsula Valdes Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Closest I got to orcas in Peninsula Valdes
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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. (:

Armadillo butt! Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Armadillo butt!
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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.

Full moon, but no werewolves Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Full moon, but no werewolves
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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 😦

Over the cliffs and far away, sea lions come out to play Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013 Photo credit: Philippe Torres

Over the cliffs and far away, sea lions come out to play
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013
Photo credit: Philippe Torres

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.

Me on a dune, for perspective Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013 Photo credit: Philippe Torres

Me on a dune, for perspective
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013
Photo credit: Philippe Torres

(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.

Goodbye Madryn! Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

Goodbye Madryn!
Puerto Madryn, Dec 2013

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