P-p-p-picking up penguins in Puerto Madryn

Trip Start Aug 26, 2009
Trip End Jun 24, 2010

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Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The town was not what we expected for our first taste of Patagonia, it is like a large seaside resort and it was warm. It felt strange to be at a beach where the temperature wasn´t over 30 degrees after being in Brazil.  Puerto Madryn´s main attraction is the wildlife in the area.  At the right time of year you can see whales, penguins, dolphins and sea lions.  As we had seen many sea lions in the Galapagos islands and it wasn´t whale season we booked a tour to see the little cormorant dolphins and penguins.

Our tour started early in the morning with a trip down to a port south of PM.  Along with many other tours we loaded onto a boat and set out looking for dolphins. We weren´t disappointed, as after only about 10 minutes we found some playing with one of the other tour boats.  The two tour boats then circled each other as the dolphins played in the wake at the front of the boat and also in the bow at the front.  It looked incredibly dangerous for them but they never made a mistake.  The cormorant dolphins look like baby killer whales with black and white skin, they are teeny and unbelievably cute. We could have watched them for hours.

The next stop on our tour was at the penguin colony.  We were shocked to see how big it was, stretching for miles back fom the sea, it is incredible how the little things waddle so far! Interesting penguin fact: they mate for life with the same partner in the very same bush! Many of the penguins we saw had fluffy grey babies that were getting ready to shed their fur (feathers?) and learn how to swim. The funniest thing we saw all day was a llama try and graze from one of the penguins nests and the penguin attacked him, jumping up and pecking his under-belly until he ran away. Sadly we did not get it on video!

On the way back to PM we stopped at a Welsh village called Trelew for some Welsh tea and cakes. They were delicious and it was great to have tea with milk without feeling like a freak when ordering! It was a lovely quaint place and definitely bought on the tea cravings!

We spent a little while longer warming ouselves on the beach in PM and preparing ourselves for the coldness to come as we ventured further south.

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