Anthony on the Gringo Trail 2005 travel blog

Macho (male) sealion

Commerson`s Dolphins

Another dolphin

Penguin beach

Penguin tai chi

Rearranging the eggs

Curled up penguin

Nice-but-dim

I seem to have this effect on wildlife


Watched the whales from my bed doing their stuff in the bay again this morning, much more lively than when I went out to see them yesterday. It turns out that this may be because it is much shallower. So off for a drive to see Commerson`s Dolphins at Rawson. These are small, mostly white, very playful and the fastest dolphins I have ever seen. This was incredibly good fun. I was right in the bow of a very fast semi-rigid speedboat with the dolphins doing a good job of keeping up, weaving in and out in front, besides and underneath us. A very cool experience.

And then off to this huge penguin colony at Punto Tumbo. I had expected them all crammed together on an empty beach, but they were scattered - everywhere - in this large area of coastal pampas. It was a good time to be there, as their eggs had just started to hatch. Under every single scrappy gorse bush type plant were several nests, and many other penguins wandering around in their comical way. I kept nearly standing on them. They were extremely tame and unfazed by people. Some of them have nests 7 kms from the sea! And they are not designed for long walks. Interestingly, both sexes incubate the eggs and care for the young.

And finally off to the so-called welsh village of Gaiman. There was a house that could have passed for welsh, and I did feel I should see what their version of a Welsh cream tea was like. For a start, no cream, but lots of tea and huge amounts of cakes. It was a bit surreal though, and made me feel a bit homesick, remembering the walk and cream tea with my pals before I went away.

Also of interest were a couple of widespread Argentine phenomena. Basically, there was this Robin Hood figure in the North, who is now revered to the extent that there are `shrines` to him everywhere on Argentinian roadsides, noted by their red flags, and very popular with lorry drivers. Similarly everywhere are shrines surrounded by bottles of water. These are to a woman who died in the desert following her soldier husband, but whose baby still got milk from her body, apparently. Thus do religions start. And then I got dropped in Trelew (note Welsh name) and straight onto a night bus to Rio Gallegos, nearly Tierra Del Fuego, as I hopefully work my way towards the bottom of the world.



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