Penguins are so funny!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
Peninsula Valdes

Flag of Argentina  , Buenos Aires F.D.,
Saturday, November 19, 2011

We had an early start the next morning because we had to get to Trelew Airport to pick up our hire car at 9am. Although this isn't so early the only bus that would get us there on time was the 7am.  Because we were leaving early the lady in the hotel had put our breakfast out for us before she went to bed.  At about 5am I woke up to some noises and was convinced someone was at our breakfast.  I told Kevin but he just said it would be grand.  Sure enough when we got up at 6.30 our breakfast was gone and our coffee cups been used.  Apparently the only other 2 guys who were staying there were leaving even earlier than us and took it upon themselves to think it was for them!  Some people.

Once we had made it back to Trelew and then on to the airport we picked up our 3rd car of our Argentina stint – I would question our commitment to backpacking these days! This car was with us for 2.5 days and our first stop was Punta Tumbo, a national reserve south of Trelew where they protect a large colony of Magellenic Penguins (by large I mean over 700,000 couples).  This was so amazing.  The penguins are everywhere and they are not scared of people it seems as they wander across the path right out in front of you (obviously they have right of way) without much fear or warning.  The most exciting thing was actually watching them walk – as mean as it is to laugh at them they look so funny, especially when they try to pick up a little speed!  We were very lucky with our timing too as it’s hatching season at the moment and as we were on our way back out of the park we heard a little chick making some noise and managed to see 2 babies still in the nest.  Really exciting, and although they weren’t doing much we stood there for a good 20 minutes just looking and taking terrible photos.  Some of the couples are still incubating – penguins mate and stay together and share the work incubating and protecting the eggs – and we were regularly able to hear them calling out to each other with these really loud noises that came right from the gut.  It was incredible to hear.  I’m not sure if it was a warning that the hatching had started or just because they wanted a swap but it was interesting either way. This was my favourite thing that we have done so far in Argentina I think.  Penguins are such strange animals to watch, especially as I say when they try to run because they just look like they shouldn’t be! 
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