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A Whale of a Time (how predictable)

PERU | Sunday, 30 November 2008 | Views [553]

The purpos of going all the way to the Argentinian coast and Puerto Madryn was to go whale watching.  But did we see any?  Were we happy or disappointed?  The suspense is killing you I'm sure.

Puerto Madryn is an ok town on the coast.  Nothing special and we had to walk across the bloody thing about 4 times to find a hostel which really didn't endear it to me.  We only wanted to stay long enough to go whale watching and then get back on the bus.  (I love the buses so much, the cramped legs, the smelly people, the shit food.  Excellent.)  So we sorted the whales for the next day. 

Not wanting to waste an afternoon we decided to hire bikes for an extortionate amount of money and visit a sea lion colony at Punta Loma.  It was only 17KM from town and everyone said it would take just over an hour.  My arse! (Have you noticed a deterioration in my language.  I think I must be a bit grumpy today.  Maybe that's why Dave's been asleep since 9)  17 KM along a dirt road into which you sink and fall off every few hundred metres.  It took oer two hours and I don't even like cycling.  To top it off when we go there the tide was pretty much in and most of the sea lions had swam off.  But the tight, money-grabbing people in Patagonia still charged us a fiver each anyway.  Not impressed.  Then we had to cycle back.  Woohoo.  Our butts were so sore we couldn't sit down properly for two days.

The next day we got the public bus to Puerto Piramide which is on Peninsula Valdes (where all the whales are).  We got a couple of boat tickets (£40 each, Patagonia is so expensive)and headed out to sea, looking beautiful in yellow waterproofs.  It took a while but eventually we saw some whales and it was pretty amazing.  We pretty much followed a mother and her calf for the next hour.  It was even more amazing because 3 dolphins were playing with them.  At one point the mother came up right next to the aide of the boat where me and Dave were standing, this huge, ugly, bumpy head, just looking at you.  It was fantastic.  From a distance we saw a good few other whales too.  Yes it was expensive but it was definitely worth it.

The only problem was that we had to wait around for 5 hours for the bus back.  It was pretty dull except for a few minutes which were probably the most rewarding of the day.  Earlier on while we were waiting for the boat we were wondering around and notices a seal on the beach.  At first we thought it was dead, but every few minutes it flicked it's tail a bit.  There were a couple of park wardens keeping an eye on it and we figured it was probably dying.  Later that afternoon, we checked up on it and it had moved a few metres but was still miles away from the sea as the tide was out.  Another couple of hours later the tide was coming in and we saw the seal pulling itself to the sea.  It took about 15 minutes and the poor thing looked so exhausted, but eventually it made it.  It reached the sea and began to swim around.  It was perfectly happy and only minutes earlier it had looked like it was close to death.  How cool.


Speaking of cool...next stop El Calafate.

The second decent picture.  The whale came up a couple of metres from the boat.

The second decent picture. The whale came up a couple of metres from the boat.

Tags: puerto madryn, whales

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