14.02.2011 - 16.02.2011 28 °C
After a day of relaxing and sorting out laundry (yes even though we're on holiday, we still have to do mundane things like laundry...my plan of buying new clothes everytime my old ones got dirty isn't happening!), we left a rainy Puerto Natales and started our 28 hour journey back into Argentina, heading towards a coastal town called Puerto Madryn. We saw the sun set and rise on what seemed to be a never-ending straight road, with llama's dotted around the roadside. A day later, and to glorious sunshine, we finally arrived at our destination.
Puerto Madryn itself is nothing special...whilst the beach was absolutely packed full of locals, the water was very dirty and the beach was very stony...its no Mombasa! However, it acts as a gateway to the Valdes Peninsula (where you can see seals and go whale-watching at the right time of year) and to Punta Tumbo, home to the largest colony of Magellen Penguins. Everyone we spoke to gave a different estimate to the number of penguins there, though most seemed to range between 750,000 to a million. We spent the morning walking amongst the penguins (at one point Roops got a bit too close to one, and it nearly bit her!!), though the majority of them were by the sea in a cordoned-off area. We saw some really cute baby penguins, and were tempted to stick one in our rucksack and bring it back home with us - given how cold it is in London, the climate would be ideal!
After the colony, I managed to book us onto a dolphin-watching trip. Given that we had spent Valentines day on the bus, and Roops' love for dolphins, I figured it would be a nice treat! The area around there is home to tonina's (or the Comoran Dolphin) - quite small (about 1.5m, 50kg...same as Roops!) and super-playful dolphins. A handful came to play with our boats, though given their size and how quick they are, it was really difficult to capture on camera. Still it was amazing to watch.
Got back to the hostel, grabbed our bags, and hopped on a bus. Next stop...Buenos Aires!