Wales on tour

Trip Start Mar 07, 2009
Trip End Apr 08, 2010

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Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Wednesday, September 2, 2009

28th August - 3rd September 2009:

Arrived in Puerto Madryn to find it was still quite warm outside, no sign of the arctic breeze we were expecting. Checked a few hostels out and settled on a friendly place a few minutes from the beach, nice price and friendly vibe. Also had cable tv so I was able to watch Arsenal dominate Man United and lose again :(
First night went out for a pizza and brief walk round, not really up for self catering after 36 hours in transit. Had a good kip and took a stroll down the beach front the next morning and there they were, Southern Right Wales ducking and diving about 100m out from the edge of the beach. From about March to October they hang about in the Neuvo Gulf and have babies apparently because it is shallow and quite sheltered because of the natural harbour, really cool.
Didn`t do much else that day because I was depressed about the football but sussed out a few tour operators and got some ideas about what we would do the following few days. Though we did scope out a local supermarket which sold amazing cookies and saw a dog riding on the roof of a car, unfortunately I was a little slow with the camera.
Sunday morning we hired out mountain bikes and rode North 19km to a place called Playa De La Dorilla. The ride was pretty tough going because of the dust, but the return would be worse as it was mostly uphill.
The beach was stunning, really wide, really clean and practically deserted. The reason for the effort of getting there was to see the Wales closer up, there were about a dozen, around 30m off the beach, really awesome. The ride back was brutal, you can only listen to "eye of the tiger" a few times before it loses its effectiveness!
Monday we got the bus to Peninsular Valdes National Park, about 100km away, again for the Wales, can`t get enough of them. This time to get a boat out to see them up close. The port was closed all morning due to high winds so we were hanging about for a bit, but again the beach was stunning, a bit colder today though. When the port did open up, about 1430, most people had given up so instead of sharing a 10m long, twin 250hp zodiac RIB with up to 60 other tourists, we had it to ourselves:) Except the driver of course, we couldn`t believe our luck. Spent 2 hours cruising about and saw some wales as close as 3 or 4 metres from the boat, awesome really awesome.
Next day woke up with a stinking cold so cancelled the days mountain biking and went to see a sealion colony about 16km south of town. Was really cool to see them from about 50m away but could not wait until next days snorkelling in the sea with the animals!
Early start on Wednesday, well early for us nowadays, 8am at the dive shop:) Out on the boat by 0900 and in the water by 0930. Spent a good 50 minutes in the water with about 30 sealions, about 10 or 15 at a time, one of the best things I have done for sure. Ang was there too and it was ruddy freezing, even with double layer wetsuits on it was cold, about 10 degrees I think. The sealions were really inquisitive, coming face to face almost eyeballing us and not scared at all. I was hoping to get some video but my camera malfunctioned which was a right bind. Managed to blag some pictures from the dive instructor though. Eventually we had to leave because of the cold but could have stayed all day, if it wasn`t so expensive would do again, maybe diving this time, but at about 100 pounds each it`s almost a weeks budget so will have to refrain this time.
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