Big and lumpy

Trip Start Aug 03, 2006
Trip End Dec 13, 2006

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

As soon as we got into Puerto Madryn, we looked into organised tours to go see whales. We soon realised it would be better to go to Puerto Piramide (where all the whale-watching tours are based) and do it on our own. At 10 pesos cheaper there wasn't much of a saving but the important thing was that we would be able to see the whales from a small boat of 16-18 people rather than going on a "small" boat of 40 people.

We got an early morning bus out to the Península Valdés and got our life jackets on not knowing exactly what to expect. At first we thought we may not see any whales at all; we were boating up the coast for 20 minutes before the guide pointed out a tail in the distance sticking up out of the water. It wasn't long before we were face to face with a large Southern Right Whale and its baby. Just like the with the penguins at Punta Tombo, we were lucky with the season and we would have a chance to see lots of baby whales.

The adult whales are so big it is hard to grasp. You know whales are big, but when they come right up to the boat to check you out you are really shown their true size. There is something quite magical about being so close to such a magnificant creature. We weren't expecting to be as enthrawled as we were.

At one point, the boat was surrounded by about 7 whales at various distances. The mothers and babies let the boat approach them and the baby would playfully slap its fin on the surface of the water. Whenever the baby got too close to the boat, the mother would make a loud noise which, we were told, was the whale equivalent of a telling off. The adult males were a little more stand-offish, but one decided to have a swim under the boat to check us out.

we were on the boat for ages but the tme seemed to fly by. When we got back to the beach we had a bit of timeto kill before our bus back to Puerto Madryn so we ate our sandwiches on the beach and watched the general to-ing and fro-ing of this surprisingly busy little tourist port.


- Trip organised by: Moby Dick. No problems. Trip was supposed to last between 1.5 - 2 hours, but because there were so many whales about, our captain had no qualms about staying out for 2.5 hours. Nice one. Recommended.

- Wikitravel: Península Valdés
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