First stop South America (then NZ, Oz & South East Asia) travel blog


















Day 5 is probably best forgotten about. Got the bus to Bahia Blanca early in the morning to get a connection to Puerto Madryn but the first bus was not until late in the evening. So basically sat like tramps in the plaza for 12 hours, stuck with our heavy rucksacks. Then went to get the first bus of the evening but got lost (and I mean lost) on the way back to the bus terminal so missed it and the next one was 2 hours late. All part of the experience! But anyway, finally arrived in Puerto Madryn in the morning. This is a popular beach resort on the Atlantic Coast. The draw for me was that it is the place to go to arrange tours to see the wildlife on the coast of Peninsula Valdes. Unfortunately, my first sighting of this wildlife was a beached whale on the sand in front of shops and apartments. Not really what I wanted to see, but I guess that´s nature. And I guess it´s also fairly common because I saw a further two in my time here. We were told about a beach 19km away from Puerto Madryn where you can see visiting southern right whales from the sand, so (in our infinite wisdom) decided to walk there along a road made entirely out of sand and pebbles. 3 hours, 2 blisters and a mouthful of sand and grit later we arrived at this beach, and it was amazing. I was immersed in it for a good hour before reality struck and I remembered that the only way back was the same 19km walk along the same road. So we tried our hand at hitchhiking, and within 10 minutes I was sat on the back of an old Ford pick up truck all the way back. I did a full day tour of Peninsula Valdes, a large bit of land that protrudes off the side of Argentina. The first stop of note was an elephant seal colony, closely followed by a small penguin colony. I could stand and watch things like this all day. Then we got to the only town on Peninsula Valdes, Puerto Piramides, for a boat trip to see the stars of the show, the visiting southern right whales. Within 5 minutes of being on the water I could see whales closer than I had ever seen them before, so I took countless photo´s thinking they wouldn´t get any closer. Then my battery ran out. I obviously didn´t have spare. At this point the whales decided to come even closer. Huge bulking whales came within feet of the boat. It was awesome. I don´t think you can comprehend just how big these creatures are until you see them up close. I was disappointed I couldn´t take any photo´s, but on saying that I don´t think a photo would have captured what a truly awesome sight this was. And to finish the day off we stopped at another beach where the whales were just metres from the shore. Amazing. Anyway, if you hadn´t guessed I enjoyed seeing the whales. Decided to leave Puerto Madryn on this high note so was at the bus terminal just hours later.

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