We pulled into Puerto Madryn around 8:00 am. The ocean is alive here. several seals came up to watch the ship make its way to the dock. Gulls and Terns were also out to greet us.
Common Terns On The Ships Lines
On the pier the busses were lined up waiting for us. After a short wait the captain of shore excursions said for our group purple 22 to follow Carol. See led us to security to have our cards scanned then down the gangway. Instead of walking with the crowd we made a dash for the bus, to get good seats. This was going to be a long journey of a couple of hundred kilometers, with paved and gravel roads. We wanted good seats.
Our bus was taking us out to Peninsula Valdes; The Peninsula is a protected park area so chances to see some wildlife were good.
Aboot 100,000 people live in the town of Puerto Madryn, and like most cities in South America the population has doubled since the 1970’s. The largest aluminum factory in South America is located here, as is a plant that makes marble counter tops. Lots of new houses lined the streets along our route.
After leaving town we pass a couple of spots that were littered with plastic bags, but overall the place is picked up, and polished.
Once through the park entrance our first stop was at the visitor’s center, for a toilet break.
Bus Driver And Pipore
I do not know what Pipore is but this carriage driver was getting some.
Once back on the road, we spotted some Ostrich’s (.Choique) Who knew Choique were Indigenous to Patagonia?
Along the way we also spotted lots of Guanaco (llamas) The Guanaco are the least popular animals around here as they will leap fences and drink the water that that is for the sheep.
Water is a precious commodity here as it only rains less than .5 of an inch a year. The water that flows from the Andes aboot 800 km west of here goes mainly to the aluminum factory. Humans get what is left over.
With our box lunch, that was home make and very good, our driver gave us eternal plastic bottles full of iced cold water. I hope the recycle them and not throw them in the sea.
At our first wildlife stop platforms have been set up so you can view and not bother the elephant seals below
Elephant Seals On The Beach
Our second stop had similar platforms but safely below us were sea lions.
The third stop was all aboot Penguins.
This was a fairly new colony of Magellan Penguins, and most of them were down the hill, on the beach, but this one came up and posed for pictures for as long as I was there.
The 80 or so km ride back to the ship was mundane. The county is low brush land. It reminds me of riding in eastern California or Nevada. Most of us slept on the way back. The journey, the bus ride was worth it as I am one Penguin closer to patching out with penguin photos…